The British Museum is an overwhelming museum with a vast collection of arts and artifacts. It is situated in the Bloomsbury area of London. British Museum tours take you through an incredible journey of the historical artifacts. All these antiques tell you the story of human civilization from the beginning of time to the present day.
British Museum tours guide you through over 8 million artifacts, which have historical importance. If you go to a British Museum virtual tour along with a guide, you would be able to get the most out of the experience. Below are some of the key highlights of the museum that you must include in your tour itinerary.
The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is actually the key for unveiling the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphics. A decree was passed one the first anniversary of the enthronement of the Egyptian Pharoah Ptolemy V, and this can be seen on the Rosetta Stone. This decree was written in hieroglyphics (the language used by priests), in vernacular language and Greek. Scholars successfully translated the Egyptian hieroglyphics after carefully studying and comparing these three languages.
This stone was unearthed by the French soldiers in 1799 during the time of Napoleonic wars. They found this stone while excavating the foundation of a castle in El-Rashid (Rosetta). The British took this stone along will all other Egyptian antiques after the war. Since 1802, this precious relic has been a part of the British Museum. You would be able to see this stone in ground floor gallery 4 of the museum.
The Portland Vase
This beautiful cameo glass vessel is assumed to have been molded in Rome at a time between AD 5 and 25. The pictures that are shown in this vase illustrate love and marriage. The scenes shown in this beautiful vase are most likely carved using a gem cutter.
In the 18th Century, Josiah Wedgwood made a perfect copy of this vase in black Jasperware, which is still regarded as his masterpiece work. It is his work, which made the original Portland Vase rise to fame. In the 19th Century, the Portland Vase was scattered to pieces by a drunkard, and the copy of vase made by Wedgwood helped in rebuilding it.
The vase was conserved using the epoxy resins. The history of this vase is unknown as it has been passed into many hands. You would be able to find this vase in Roman Empire exhibit, in Room 70, on the top floor of the British Museum.