Posted in Art, Singapore

Treasures of the World from The British Museum

The collection at London’s British Museum is one of the best in the world. I’m so glad that my husband and I got a chance to discover the archaeological treasures from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. We also encountered some artistic masterpieces from Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, America and Oceania.

13219964_10201620309786154_1680997952_n

The British Museum’s repository of history provides us with a view that spans a period of more than two million years. There were lots of interesting artefacts and historical objects on display from around the world. Each object represents the cultural and artistic achievements of the civilisation it comes from, and collectively, the collection explores the enduring themes of life that connect people across the world, regardless of when or where they live.

The exhibition begins with the Stone handaxe, the oldest object on display. This handaxe is a masterpiece of the stone toolmaker’s art.

Stone handaxe | Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania (Lower Palaeolithic, about 800,000 years old)

13250388_10201622638764377_382794557_n

AFRICA

Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It is here that the origins of the human species ultimately lie, and where technology and art first developed. Since early humans spread out of Africa into Asia and Europe around a million years ago, the continent’s peoples and cultures have profoundly influenced the rest of the world.

Left: Mummy of an adolescent boy | Hawara, Egypt

Right: Egyptian mummy masks like that were used to protect a deceased’s face or as substitutes for the mummified head if it was damaged or lost.

13219567_10201620307106087_554382539_n

Beaded Collar | Matmar, Egypt

This intricate collar was found in the grave of a young child.

13249333_10201620307466096_622364716_n

Tomb Relief | Saqqara, Egypt

13233383_10201620306986084_2108796551_n

Embroidered Dress | Sinai, Egypt

This full-length dress was worn by a married Bedouin woman living in the Sinai desert in Northern Egypt.

13231027_10201620307346093_39798693_n

Woman’s beaded bodice | South Sudan

This type of beaded bodice is worn by young women who are eligible for marriage.

13236096_10201620307586099_820403708_n

Anklets and necklace with amulet case | Zanzibar, Tanzania

13219822_10201620307626100_468627265_n

Gelede Mask | Nigeria

13246141_10201620307666101_401335856_n

Woman’s Cloth | El Anatsui

Created in 2001, Woman’s Cloth by African contemporary artist El Anatsui is made of bottle tops and copper wire. The bottle tops come from Nigerian brands of liquor whose names are linked to events, people, historical or current issues.

13236027_10201620309866156_190178042_n

THE AMERICAS

Welcome Figure | Vancouver Island, Canada

This potlatch welcome figure dating back to the 19th century is 2.3 metres tall. Anthropomorphic figures like this are used to welcome guests at winter potlatch ceremonies in Canada.

13250533_10201620307706102_2101779969_n

Deity Mask | Mexico

13228173_10201620307746103_896656209_n

EUROPE

I think my husband was really amazed at the 11th-century chess pieces discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland in 1831

13219588_10201622570922681_1398595708_n

The Descent from the Cross | School of Andrea Mantegna (Italian, around AD 1431)

13250522_10201620307786104_484704710_n

The Three Crosses | Rembrandt (Dutch, AD 1606 – 1668)

13245946_10201620307826105_221666401_n

Horizontal table clock with detachable alarm | South Germany probably Augsburg

13227918_10201620307866106_459799844_n

Mirror | Roman (1st to 2nd century AD)

Many ancient Roman mirrors were produced in bronze.

13236003_10201620243544498_1885883367_n

Bust of the emperor Hadrian | Tivoli, Italy

This portrait bust is of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who ruled from AD 117 to 138. It is one of many portraits found at Hadrian’s famous and magnificent country residence near Tivoli, Italy

13231234_10201620307906107_500948176_n

Figure of a pregnant woman | Cyclades, Greece

13245819_10201620308026110_1078491262_n

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST

A tablet from King Ashurbanipal’s Library | Nineveh, Northern Iraq

13187707_10201620308106112_321106555_n

An Attendant | Nimrud, Northern Iraq

This limestone guardian figure originally stood at a doorway in the temple of Nabu in the Assyrian capital of Nimrud. 

13220124_10201620308146113_278700160_n

Ossuary | Jerusalem

This limestone chest was used to hold the bones of a dead person or family. They said that the bones were collected after burial, once the flesh had decomposed. 

13249550_10201620308306117_802390725_n

THE ISLAMIC MIDDLE EAST

The term  “Islamic” is used here to define the culture of peoples living in lands where the dominant religion is Islam.

Astrolabe | Egypt

Helmet | Iran

Tankard | Damascus, Syria or Cairo, Egypt

Dagger with inlaid inscription | Ottoman, Turkey

13245819_10201620308346118_1402782607_n

ASIA

Wine vessel | Houma, Shanxi province, China

13219914_10201620243864506_1232832354_n

Pair of pitchers | China

13220065_10201620308466121_1455061458_n

Nõ theatre mask | Japan

13231224_10201620308586124_2017495278_n

Articulated model of a supernatural creature | Japan

13250508_10201620308866131_102506874_n

SOUTHEAST ASIA

Ceremonial crown and breastplate | Nepal

13235845_10201620309026135_1218994838_n

Dagger and Scabbard | Java, Indonesia

13249581_10201620309066136_424216512_n

AUSTRALIA – OCEANIA

War canoe prow | North Island, Aaotearoa

Paddle | Austral Islands, French Polynesia

13250498_10201620309106137_212231083_n

Door post | New Caledonia

13219881_10201620309186139_644668109_n

Male Figure | Fly river area, Papua New Guinea

13250508_10201620309226140_342149506_n

Frigate bird pendant | Solomon Islands

Wooden knife | Vanuatu

13249466_10201620309506147_205780285_n

Dance shield | Buin, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea

This wooden shield is known as a koka, meaning “crescent moon”.

13246074_10201620309826155_625013603_n

Mask | Mer Island, Torres Strait Islands, Australia

Masks like this were worn during funerary ceremonies.

13249452_10201620309706152_951829242_n

I really had fun exploring the geology of rocks and minerals with a pocket microscope.

13235789_10201620308546123_1994991828_n

In today’s integrated world, it is important that we learn not just about our own heritage and culture, but also be exposed to the world around us.

Author:

Leslie is a twenty-something and recently moved to Canada. She loves wandering with her camera and trying new things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s