1998 Mystery of History – Day 28

London – more relics and ancient artefacts

Friday – another overcast day – so it’s off to do something where I don’t get wet.  I visit the British Museum. This is most probably the world’s biggest and most congested museum, although the Egyptian Museum in Cairo would give it a run for its money let me tell you.

After doing the train thing – I am getting to be a real native at this – I arrive at the British Museum and out the front is a street seller roasting chestnuts!  They smell wonderful and I make a note to get some on the way out.  Going through the doors you are hit immediately with exhibitions and what to see and where to go. My mind is spinning thinking what to see first – – the hallways are just full of artefacts.

I take off to see the Elgin Marbles.  Remember them – they were ‘removed’ from The Parthenon in Athens.  I think they would feel more at home in Athens – what do you think?

There are so many ancient artefacts on display it is hard to decide what to see – Ancient Greece, Imperial Rome, Ancient Egypt – where to next?

This is the famous Rosetta Stone – – –

HISTORY LESSON: A black basalt slab bearing an inscription that was the key to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs and the foundation of modern Egyptology. 

It was found by French troops in 1799 near the town of Rosetta in Lower Egypt.  The stone was inscribed in 196 BC with a decree praising the Egyptian king Ptolemy V.  Because the inscription appears in three scripts, hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek, scholars were able to decipher the hieroglyphic and demotic versions by comparing them with the Greek version. 

The deciphering was chiefly the work of the British physicist Thomas Young and the French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion.

There was just so much to see – I took lots of photos and I could use the flash – so that was great.

Highlight of the day : the Rosetta Stone.

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