The British Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world. It boasts a permanent collection of some eight million works and is among the largest and most comprehensive of any museum in the world. It was also the first public museum in the world. If in Washington DC be sure to visit the Smithsonian Museums there.

Many of the artifacts were collected during the British Empire and today it tells the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. Of the 250 years of the museum's existence, it has grown and resulted in the museum branching off of sister museums including the also impressive Natural History Museum and British Library in London.

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About The British Museum and Notable Artifacts

  • British Museum: Over 13 Million Objects
  • Natural History Museum: 70 Million Objects
  • British Library: 150 Million Objects
  • Established: 1753 (Opened to the Public in 1759 - First Public Museum)

As with all national museums in the United Kingdom is has no admission fee. Some of the special exhibits and tours do have admission fees, however.

The museum also has a very large website and the largest online database of objects of any museum in the world.

  • Rosetta Stone: On Of The Most Important Archeological Finds Every Discovered Is Here Too - It Was The Key That Unlocked The Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  • Sophilos Vase: From Athens Around 580 to 570 BC. It is Decorated With Greek Myth Including The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis - Achilles' Parents
  • The Parthenon Sculptures: Around 438 to 432 BC They Are Sculptures From Greece's Most Famous Temple
  • Crouching Venus: Second Century Roman Marble Sculpture Of The Much Earlier Greek Goddess Aphrodite
  • Bust of Ramesses the Great: From 1292 to 1189 BC And Weighs An Incredible 7.5 Tonnes
  • The Ife Head: 14th to Early 15th Century The Head Of The Sacred King Of The West African Kingdom of Ife
  • Hoa Hakananai’a: Basalt Statue From Around 1000 to 1200 AD, From Easter Island And One Of A Number Of Statues Known as Moai

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Egyptian Antiquities (Permanent)

One of the things that the British Museum is famous for, is the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities (other than the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). If in Egypt, many of the greatest ancient Egyptian attractions are in the Valley of the Kings.

But it's not just the sheer size of the collection, it's also the quality of the collection. It has objects from all periods and almost all important sites in Egypt and Sudan.

  • Egyptian Collection: Over 100,000 Pieces
  • Napoleon: After The Defeat of The French At The Battle Of The Nile, the Egyptian Antiquities Were Confiscated By the British

Temporary Exhibit: Peru - A Journey Through Time

One of their temporary exhibits is Peru - A Journey Through Time and it steps into the vibrant world of ancient Peru. It delves into how people there have lived for millennia in an environment that is one of the most complex and challenging anywhere in the world.

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It spans the beliefs, history, and cultural achievements of the peoples living there from around 2500 BC up to the fatal arrival of Europeans in the 1500s and then the legacy after that.

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See how the Inca thrived in an environment that included some of the driest deserts on earth and the highest altitudes. See how the Inca's approach to agriculture, power, economy, and time was so different from ours.

  • Date: 11 Nov 2021 - 20 Feb 2022
  • Open: Daily 10 AM - 5 PM (Fridays 20.30)
  • Adults: From £15 ($20)

Temporary Exhibit: Hokusai The Great Picture Book of Everything

Cross over to the other side of the world with this exhibit to Japan. This temporary exhibit is about the drawings by Katsushika Hokusai who was one of Japan's most celebrated artists. He is best known for this work The Great Wave (properly called Under the Wave off Kanagawa). The Great Wave is also on display.

The exhibit displays 103 recently acquired drawings by Hokusai produced between 1820 and the 1840s. He produced them for an illustrated encyclopedia for The Great Picture Book of Everything. Strangely this book was never printed.

See Hokusai's masterful brushwork and see how he depicted scenes from Buddhist Indi, ancient China, and the natural world.

  • Date: 30 September 2021 – 30 January 2022
  • Open: Daily 10 AM 5 PM (Fridays 8 PM)
  • Adults: From £9 ($13)

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Guided Tour: Around the World in 70 Minutes Tour

This guided tour is a British Museum tour that explores some of the most famous objects on display and is a guided highlights tour. See the characterful Lewis Chessmen, gaze at the ancient texts on the Rosetta Stone (that was key to unlocking the language of the Pharaohs), and more.

  • When: Start At 11:30 AM and 2 PM
  • Duration: 70 Minutes
  • Cost: £14 ($19)

There is just so much to see and explore in the British Museum, but it is likely to be lost to all but the most learned of historians. It is very much recommended to have a tour guide in this remarkable museum.

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