Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The British Musuem

1350BC Ancient Egypt

On July 7, I visited the British Musuem with some friends and class mates.  We decided to only tour the ancient Egypt exhibit because we were on a time crunch. It was interesting and amazing to see such old artifacts from centuries ago preserved so well. Many of the sculptures, jewlery, furniture and wall paintings were crafted with such detail it was unbelievable. The use of resources and materials found all around them were put to great use. I find it amazing to see how advanced ancient cities were and how well beyond their years they have come. The exhibit was very interesting to say the least. 
  • Furniture-  In Egypt very few houses had furniture. Only the wealthy were able to own it, but even then they only had one or two pieces. The furniture was well made from expensive woods and materials.
  • Paint-  The building of the chapel, also known as Nebamun’s tomb, used various materials and minerals for painting. The reds and yellows were from orchards, the blacks were from carbon and the blues and greens were from glassy substances (Egyptian frit).  The tomb was made of limestone which provided the artist a smoother surface on which to paint.
  • Leisure-  Leisure time was only for the wealthy and it consisted of entertainment by flutes, dancers and singers. Few people could read or write but those who could provided poems.
  • Fashion- Different types of clothing were worn, based on the class level in society.  Some wore elaborate collars and necklaces with stones and jewels, usually decorated with florals.
  • Tombs- Coffin construction had many techniques. The majority are hollow shells built up over the core using a variety of materials: mud, linen and plaster some cases scraps of discarded documents papyrus were used, which contained ink writing on them and were somewhat still visible.
                                                                               --By Miranda Stewart

I joined Miranda in her venture to the British Museum and spent most of my time in the Ancient Egypt exhibit. The rest of my time was spent looking for Jessica Holliday after we were all separated. Let me just tell you, it is not easy to find someone in that massive building, and if you do, even the employees are very little help. My only complaint about the British Museum is that they do not have a intercom system in place, which I think is quite necessary for such a huge place. One could spend all day looking for a lost child in there. If you decide to visit with a group, pick out a meeting spot and time before you go explore the Ancient Civilizations. Now, let me follow up on the Egyptians where Miranda left off.

- The houses were made of mudbrick, wood and reeds.

- There were distinct areas for men and women in the houses.

- Most houses had seasonal rooms.

- Bedrooms were located in the most private areas in the back of the house.

- Most lived along the river or in the fertile river delta.

- Fishing was a major source of protein. For the wealthy it was something they did for fun, but for the poor, it was a means of survival.

- The fish hooks they used were a lot like the ones we still use today.

- Crocodiles were something they very often had to look out for.

- Beer and bread were the staple diet of most of the people.

- The rich feasted on meat, poultry and wine.

- Both men and women wore make-up.

- The wealthy wore perfumed oils.

- Senet was a popular game played by adults.

                                                                                    -By Jenna Talley

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