I had the privilege of going to the British Museum for a field trip the other day which was really very interesting. We met up as a class at 12noon for a sort of a teacher-led guided discussion through the museum.
We started out in the gift shop being asked questions like “why are these items being sold?” “Think about what these items are” and prompts like that. From there we moved to the Collecting The World section and then the Enlightenment section in Room 1. An interesting piece in the World section was a cross made from a refugee ship that wrecked near the Italian coast. A classmate of mine found that particularly arresting since it was so prominently on display as we walked into the gallery.
In the Enlightenment room there was a “Hands on Deck” desk where you could handle objects from the museums collection. Devon and I made note so as to come back after our field trip was over. We ended up touching a few items, the first and youngest being a representation of Ganesha (for a brief overview click the wiki link on the name) which was about 200 years old. There was a tile from a mosque but I can’t recall how old it was. The next item was a alabaster jar or kohl from Egypt which was if I’m remembering correctly 2000 years old. After that we got to touch the oldest item which was the shell fossil. this one was my favorite so I took a picture of it, it was somewhere around a billion years old if I’m anywhere near remembering correctly! In the upper portion of the picture, there is a tan clay object, this was the earliest form of writing, it was picture depictions in cuneiform.
The other galleries we looked at included the money one with you guessed it, money, dating from Roman era coins to a resister from a Tiffany’s store. A portion that included the Tower of Babel and some other portions with Italian and Greek pieces. Overall this was a really fun field trip and I enjoyed my time there and hope to be back again!