Monday, 15 October 2012

Museum trip to see Mesopotamia exhibits

We have begun to study ancient civilizations in our history lesson and decided to see what the British Museum had on display.

We found cuneiform writing

The detail on the stone work was amazing!

This statue has five legs!  The card said it was to be looked at only from either directly in front or directly from the side and then it has the proper number of lags

Replica of an old door with bronze stripes with writing and pictures on it

Cuneiform writing tablets found beneath a temple and how they were stored.  Can you imagine carrying these stone messages around:)

"Lion Hunting from Assyria, aobut 645-6735 BC, mostly showing the sporting exploits of the last great Assyrian King, Ashurbanipal.  According to the sign it says "The hunting scenes are full of tension, realism, and rank among the court"  I have to agree... It was breath taking

The lion hunt stone work takes up 4 sides of an entire room.  The details are just amazing!

This flower design was found throughout the art work in this period called the Rosetta flower it is associated with fertility and divine abundance

cylinder sphere which was used to mark that something belong to someone, or to mark the Cuneiform writing done by someone.

Jewelry found in a grave pit

Head piece worn by someone in a grave pit

Silver Lyre found in a grave pit

Princess recognize this from one of our books on this period a brass Ram standing up onto a tree

Tablet found in a grave pit with beautiful carving on all four sides which is still not known what the purpose is for.

An old game found and the cuneiform tablet which contains the rules of the game

small Gilgamesh stone image

This is a boundary stone and it records the gift of land given to an honored officer by the king.  It also states that the land is to be exempt from taxes and obligations.  On a funny note at the bottom of this stone are curses to prevent someone from vandalizing the stone. 
The last Assyrian King, Ashurbanipal created a major library in his palace at Nineveh.  Among them are copies of literary works including Gilgamesh, astrology, medicine and mathematics.  Unfortunately the destruction of Nineveh left many of the tablets broken.

This is the most famous of all cuneiform tablets.  The eleventh tablet of Gilgamesh, and it describes how the gods sent a flood to destroy the world.  Like Noah, Utnapishtim was forewarn and built an ark to house and preserve living things.  After the flood he sent out birds to look for dry land.

The Queen of the night is an ancient goddess.  There is evidence that his clay stone was originally  painted red.

musical instrument played an important part in ceremonies and banquets.  There are even some songs/music documented on cuneiform tablets.  Like the ancient Greeks the musical system of the Mesopotamian seems to include 7 heptatonic and diatonic scales.

After an exhausting 5 hour tour of the museum we took a taxi to the restaurant.  This was a special treat for the children as usually we make them walk or take the tube.

Dinner at a Japanese Steak House

Tube station you never know what you will see inside.

Exhausted boys on the way home
We are continuing our Mesopotamia study and this tour of the museum will give us a better understanding of this period.  We had a great day out in London.


  1. Wow! I can't believe that you guys spent five hours looking at Mesopotamia displays! They must have a lot of it at the British Museum. The stone engraving is very beautiful. That is funny about the curses on the boundary stone. Given that it is still around, they do seem to have done their job! :-)

  2. I love all the pictures on your blog...and I am in awe of the museum! We don't have anything like that close to where I live so I enjoyed getting to see the glimpses of yours.

  3. I--and my children--really enjoyed reading this post. How fascinating!

  4. I love it!!! Such an awesome field trip :) What a great experience to go with your history, I am jealous!!

  5. Can I come and enjoy school with you? I just love these adventures and this one was so awesome. The pictures are so good. I think I will go on the internet and study more about this period. Your children are getting such a great educations. I am just so amazed with all you do.
    Blessings and hugs to you all!

  6. What an awesome field trip! Thank you so much for linking to the History and Geography meme!

  7. We did the same trip just a few years ago. Looking at your photos brought back lots of lovely memories! Thank you!

  8. Wow, what an amazing field trip! Thanks for sharing at Favorite Resources.

  9. I am in awe how history easily comes alive for your family with your great adventures...I only wish our family could experience just even a little of what you have been able to see...then maybe I would even like history myself! :) Great photos as always!