The sheer wealth of historical artifacts housed in the British Museum is difficult to be put in words. Ever since it opened doors to the public in 1759, the Museum has attracted a steady stream of visitors from all parts of the world. The contributions made by the Museum in the dissemination of art to the public are far higher unlike any other museum in the world.
It is no wonder the place is included in the itinerary of many British Museum guided tour programs operating in London. In fact, its collection of artifacts has proven to be of assistance to researchers and art scholars from all around the world. Below are some of the incredible artifacts that are put on display in the British Museum.
The Lewis Chessmen
The Lewis Chessmen is one of the priced historical pieces that are displayed in the British Museum. Originated in the 12th century, it consists of 82 pieces carved from the ivory of walrus and whale tooth. It was discovered in 1831, swept up on the beach in the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Each of the pieces portrays the societal order that was prevalent in those times. It is speculated that the pieces were created for a medieval Norwegian king.
The Parthenon Sculptures
The Parthenon sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles, originated in ancient Greece and were the few pieces that survived in the ruin of Parthenon, an Athenian temple that stood in the fifth century BC. In 1816, it was bought by Lord Elgin, which was then purchased by the British government and passed on to the British Museum. It depicts the scenes of a mythical battle and is one of the most renowned artifacts in the British Museum.
Assyrian Lion Hunt Reliefs
The Assyrian lion hunting reliefs is another exemplary piece or artwork from the ancient era that is displayed in the British Museum. It features lion hunting as a popular sport for the Assyrian kings. Originated from around 650 BC, this alabaster bas-relief has remained one of the most remarkable artifacts discovered till date.
The Oxus Treasure
This rare artifact dates back to the fifth century Persian Empire and is a collection of gold and silver objects. The four-horse chariot is one of the most intact surviving pieces that display exceptional levels of the goldsmith craft prevalent in the era.