The British Museum

The British Museum
The British Museum
It was a dream come true when I finally got the chance to visit one of the most talked about museum in the world, The British Museum. Located in the heart of London, it was just few minutes walk away from my office. Not that I am a fan of museums, but I had heard a lot about it and the main attraction I wanted to see was The Mummy of Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of Ancient Egypt who  represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.

Cleopatra Mummy
The Mummy of Cleopatra
I just entered the museum and went straight to say hi to Cleopatra. It was not only me who was excited to see her, but everyone was lined up to see her only and why not, to this day, Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and the many dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the 1963 film Cleopatra. In most depictions, Cleopatra is portrayed as a great beauty, and her successive conquests of the world's most powerful men are taken as proof of her aesthetic and sexual appeal.

There are speculations whether it is the real Cleopatra or someone else? A guide told me that it is not the Egyptian Queen, but is a member of the same family who lived in II century AD. Here is what Museum says:

"Cleopatra: the mummy of a young woman
The mummy and coffin of Cleopatra, daughter of Candace, from the Soter family burial, entered the British Museum in 1832 via the first collection of Henry Salt. The mummy is wrapped in many layers of cloth, with an outer shroud on which is painted a figure of the deceased woman. A comb and a necklace of beads were placed on the body inside the wooden coffin. The hieroglyphic inscription on the coffin gives Cleopatra’s age at death, for which a reading of 17 years, 1 month and 25 days has been proposed. X-ray studies using a CAT scanner show a skeletal development and a fusion of the ends of the long bones which is consistent with this age.

The skeleton appears to be in good conditions. The skull is tilted forward and the mouth is open. There are at least three packages in the right chest cavity, possibly the preserved internal organs. An object, about 9cm long, in the left chest cavity may be a roll of linen or a figurine. CAT scans also revealed the use of packing materials (probably mud or sand), which contribute to the substantial weight (about 75kg) of this mummy”.

Well, there is not only the mummy of Cleopatra, but several other mummies are preserved and well maintained. Remains of the dead from 3000 BC are still very well preserved.

To be honest, now I wanted to get off the section of the dead and explore the other parts, some art perhaps. Museum has collections from almost all the parts of the world. US., China, Africa, India, Pakistan, Greece, Rome, Egypt etc. (these may I remember)

I walked to the Egyptian section which looked amazingly stunning as we see in Discovery channel. Huge sculptures of kings and Gods/Goddesses displaying the finest of the art of Egyptian era.

Colossal Figure of a King
The sculpture above is made of red granite which represents head and arm of a colossal king of eighteenth dynasty about 1390 BC from Thebes, Temple of Mut.

 This granite sculpture of Lion is also from eighteenth dynasty about 1400 BC from Gebel Barkal in Sudan.

Goddess Hathor
 Goddess Hathor's statue from eighteenth dynasty, about 1400 BC from Thebes, Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III.
3 Nereids
Three Nereids
 From the Nereid monument, Xanthos, about 390-380 BC. The three figures are sea nymphs, daughters of sea God Nereus, riding on the waves on sea creatures.They are thought to have escorted the soul of the deceased on its journey to the afterlife.

                    The heads of the above figures are believed to be destroyed deliberately during the war.

It is so hard to pen down everything when there is so much to write. I have tried to put the best of the museum here, but again, this is so less.

Do visit if you get a chance.


  1. I've always enjoyed visiting British Museum, and I've seen the mummy section too! It's such a huge museum and covers a gamut of various country and their historical facts, that one single day isn't really enough (if you are a museum lover). My husband doesn't enjoy museums as much as I do, hence I always try to catch up with this museum every time I visit London :)

    1. To be honest, even I am not a fan of museums, but there are few things that attract you there and it is like reliving the history. It is true that you can't cover it in a single day. I visited three times.

  2. Although I am not a fan of museums, this one looks interesting!

  3. A Great Museum. A mummy of Cleopatra; to my great surprise.

  4. Wow. Cleopatra huh. This is pretty cool.

  5. I hope you guys know it's not "THE CLEOPATRA"


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