London: British Museum Walking SeminarProduct ID: 14493
From £419 Per group up to 6Book now
- Discover parts of the British Museum's vast collection with the help of a historian
- Learn more about the museum's interesting history
- Rely on your guide to show you wonderful pieces and put them into context
- Refresh your knowledge of European art history and enjoy the beauty of the pieces displayed
During the Enlightenment period, different disciplines were born, among them archaeology, art history, and the study of languages and scripts.
You will look at some of the antiquities and languages of ancient Iraq and Iran as material from these areas forms some of the earliest collections in the British Museum. Large-scale excavation in the ancient Middle East and the race for deciphering of hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts were inspired by the finds from Mesopotamia and Persia. The beginnings of the British Museum are inextricably tied to the European re-discovery of these ancient cultures.
Begin your walk in the Enlightenment Gallery where your guide will talk about how archaeology evolved from the work of antiquaries, how art history was born with the study of ancient Greek sculpture and vase painting, and how Greek art set the standard for the next 200 years of what was considered the model of fully evolved art. Then move on to discussing how ancient texts came to be deciphered in the first place and you will compare the ways in which hieroglyphs and cuneiform, the 2 earliest scripts, were cracked.
Your discussion will be illustrated by the Rosetta Stone, which now lives in the British Museum, along with about 130,000 pieces of cuneiform tablets from ancient Iraq, some of which are on display. Depending on the interests of your docent and the group, you may then spend time looking more in depth at the art of ancient Iran and/or of ancient Iraq in its earlier phases, before taking in the palace reliefs of ancient Assyrian kings, which form the best collection of ancient Iraqi sculpture outside of Baghdad. If time permits, and you are in the mood, you may take a peek at the Parthenon marbles, which will bring you back to the beginning of your discussions of what the 18th and 19th century European viewer perceived as the highest art form.
- Entrance to the British Museum
- Knowledgeable historian as your guide
Your space on the small group London walk, "British Museum," is confirmed. You will meet your docent in front of the entrance to the Bella Roma Cafe at 62 Great Russell Street. (Open in Google Maps)
Product ID: 14493