Day 4: British Museum & Greenwich

Day at a Glance:
How to begin talking about the wonderful day I had exploring the British Museum again, the Royal Observatory, and the National Maritime Museum with our remarkable group of travelers is going to be difficult. Because of the way we split into smaller groups, normally we split off into groups of three to five, each person gets their own experience. I get the lovely experience of walking around with Amy, who know almost everything thing about England, and Janie, who knows almost everything about History! Running around the British Museum with Janie was like my very own history lesson, and as a history major I can tell you it was incredible. There was a specific Assyrian piece that she pointed out to me, about the Assyrian war policies. Assyrians can be explained, as Janie told us, as "The Nazis of the Ancient world." They often beheaded people, and this specific piece showed them counting the heads (see image below). Therefore, they kept records, on paper, of the people they killed. Gross, but interesting, like the most interesting history is. 
The Royal Observatory is where the prime meridian is located, but the real gem of Greenwich is the National Maritime Museum. Amy, Janie, and I completely geeked out at this museum. Unlike the two of them I did not know that I was interested in Naval history, but it is fantastic. In a room celebrating Horacio Nelson, and his naval victories, there was a virtual diagram of two of his biggest battles where you could go through the battles fifteen minutes at a time. The man was a genius, in a time of now calling, testing, or even Morse Code, Nelson conducted the most organized naval battles. It is a must see in London in the three of our options. Likewise the museum workers were extremely helpful, and enjoyed our enthusiasm. Without them we would not have had a "minor collision" on their boat simulator. With our enthusiasm, we took a long time to look at everything and this caused us to not be able to get to one third of the museum in our (the amount of time we spent there I totally forgot) of being there. We are hoping to get back and finish it on one of the flex days. Overall, geeking out with the knowledgeable Londoner and the incredible History teacher is all a visitor of London can ask for to enhance every experience. I believe we often have more fun than the students. 

Sincerely, Hannah

Counting Heads

We all woke up at around 9:00 to eat breakfast that Ian cooked and were to leave by 9:30, fortunately we were ready at about 9:20, beating the Bell House residence to the tube station. We arrived at the British Mseum and broke up into groups of three and four to search for the art pieces on our list. I was in a group with Michaela and Alex. When approaching the entrance there was a Dome with window roofs and marble staircases. Michaela, Alex, and I started in the Middle Eastern area and checked off everything on our list. There were a lot of mummified people and animals, including fish and eels in the Syrian room. The Mesopotamia room had lots of royal regalia and ceremonial headdresses with lots of gold and precious rock details but my favorite piece in the room was the Standard of Ur and I was surprised at how small it was compared to the pictures I have seen in textbooks. The Roman/Greek room had many statues, vases and currency coins. The coins I thought were the most interesting because our coins today are still very similar. When we went downstairs to the other part of Mesopotamia, we saw the Cyrus scroll, the Rosetta Stone and the statue of Amenhetope. There was another Greek level in the library that had the Discobolus and the Orrery and both were very intriguing to see because we had studied them in the past.
My favorite part was being with my friends Michaela and Alex because we all were excited to see the pieces we studied together. It was really interesting to have these experiences with the people that I have gotten to know even more.
~ ZoĆ« 
Standard of Ur

Our last stop of the day was the Royal Greenwich Observatory. We walked through Greenwich Park and through the trees I could see the "Time Ball" on top the roof and because the observatory was my research topic during the semester seeing it in the distance got me really excited to see the real thing. Today was a super hot and semi humid which definitely aided in  our struggle up the steep hill which the Observatory sat upon. Once we reached the top we split up into our groups and quickly found the prime meridian and were proudly "traveling through time"  the Greenwich observatory buildings was very pretty and I loved walking around spewing random facts about things we saw to my small group that I had learned about such as the onion dome and the Giant Equatorial telescope. Today's adventure definitely gets me even more excited for future museum experiences.
~ Michaela

Prime Meridian 


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