The entrance hall of the British Museum. Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

My trip to the British Museum in London


So last weekend I went to the British Museum in London for work. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I couldn’t proceed as planned and have to return in January. But on the other hand, I had some time to have a look at a couple of museums while I was there and I gotta say, British Museums nail the gift shops!

The British Library

The first evening, I visited the exhibition “Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth” in the British Library. It was interesting for me, because Assassin’s Creed sponsored the exhibition. I had to go. I got the tip by Florence Smith Nicholls, who was kindly pointing me to this exhibition, due to my interest in Archaeogaming. The exhibition was great! There were a lot of books with beautiful book art and an interactive installation, that provided wise sayings to everyone listening. Nevetheless, the Archaeogaming part was quiet small. At the end of the exhibition, one can see an artistic representation of the tomb of Alexander the Great, that Ubisoft created for their game Assassin’s Creed: Origins.

A sarcophagus replica of what is thought to be Alexander the Greats tomb.
A sarcophagus replica of what is thought to be Alexander the Greats tomb.

The British Museum

The next day, I did a museum marathon, starting with the British Museum. I visited the section of ancient West Asia first of course and had a great time photographing all the Neo-Assyrian reliefs and some of the Sumerian artefacts in their exhibition. This was not the first time in this exhibition and I think the last time was 12 years ago. Nothing changed much really. Nevertheless, I always found my way in this museum, unlike in the Louvre.

I also visited other exhibitions in the museum, but I also spend quiet a bit of time in the museum shop, because this was really nice. It wasn’t awfully expensive, the merchandise was more or less well made and as the museum was free anyway, I could spend my saved money on items in the shop. I got a Lamassu-Fridge-Magnet, which was awesome!

The helm of Meskalamdug at the British Museum
The helm of Meskalamdug at the British Museum

The Natural History Museum

So after a walk through Hyde Park, I arrived the the Natural History Museum. On a Saturday. Well, needless to say, it was packed and I wasn’t able to enjoy much of the exhibition. I walked through the exhibitions, but rushed away by the masses rather quickly. Therefore, I decided to come back another time and of course to check out the gift shop. I loved it. Also this gift shop offered great merchandise and especially if your kids are into dinosaurs. I didn’t end up buying anything though.

A stegosaurus skeleton at the Natural History Museum
A stegosaurus skeleton at the Natural History Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Finally I crossed the street and visited the V&A Museum, which exhibits quiet a wide array of objects. I had a special interest in the paintings, as I knew that a certain painting by Henry Austen Layard is in the V&A. I was searching the exhibition, but didn’t find it and suspect the drawing to be in their archive. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the displays of art, metal works and took a long break in the so-called Raphael Court, which was extrodinary.

Again, I checked out the gift shop, because I felt I was onto something and I wasn’t disappointed! Again, the shop was well equipped and I ended up buying a couple of things for my family. I know, I know, you probably expected me to talk more about the art and exhibitions here, instead of the gift shops, but I think they are worth a mention. Also: everybody writes about the exhibits, don’t they…

Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London
Paintings at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London


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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. (Nearly) Every Friday.

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