After the lectures we were escorted on a tour of the items in the exhibit. Well, actually, I dashed off to plug the parking meter while FDPG elbowed the old ladies who tried to push her out of our place in line.
They had divided the items up according to continent and time period, and in the middle of the entire exhibit they had something called an Enlightenment Circle, where one could go in and play with various items: writing implements, listen to a Rosetta Stone inscription read out in 6 different languages, roll carved stone rolls across Silly Putty to see what they spelled out, and so on. But exhibit was quite spectacular. FDPG saw the Corinthian helmet she'd coveted, as well as some coins from Greece and Persia, and we both stood spell bound at the Egyptian items they had on display. And everything was lit so wonderfully, things seemed to glow. Only one item was a reproduction, which made everything else all the more magical.
But I couldn't take any photographs, sadly.
Afterwards we went to the
I have always had a weak spot for anything with Anubis on it. But this Anubis cost $1000. "Why don't you make one in papier-maché?" said Richard the Slightly Idiotic, when we got home and I showed him this photo. "Gosh," I said, "why don't I? I'm sure I have a spare 200 hours to whip one up."
I think he was joking.
I don't think I was.
FDPG and I got into a rather spirited conversation about Bastet, the Cat Goddess. FDPG got her mixed up with Seknet, the lion-headed goddess. So we wrangled pleasantly about it for a while, until we saw the tag on this baby ($1000 as well: don't see myself doing this in papier-maché, do you?) and it read BASTET CAT. Whereupon I crowed only a little. And FDPG glowered only a little.
Rosetta Stone bookends, anyone?
The chess sets they had for sale, while horrifically priced, were incredibly amusing: this one is Caesar and Cleopatra facing off. Another featured the Roman and the Greek gods squaring off.
And yet another featured the Poster Children of the Exhibit: The Lewis Chessmen. Here's what the BM says about them. And here's another view.
And of course FDPG had to get one of the replicas when we happened upon them. It's a very tactile object and we have all spent a lot of time holding it and rubbing its edges. "I LOVED these pieces. This knight makes up for that boring lecture," I overheard her telling her dad, later that day.
I bought a small papyrus, genuine-hand-painted-in-Egypt-specially-for-tourists print. I almost got the Bastet print, just so FDPG and I could wrangle pleasantly when we got home, but this one has a shot of Horus, and we all love Horus around these parts. I keep hoping we're going to see him strolling around the back yard one night, with his hawk's head sharply at an angle, eyes on the lookout for Osiris or Isis.
The one thing I was disappointed not to see was a book of postcards featuring all the items in the collection. There was a coffee table book, with lots of scholarly comments next to each photograph, but I wanted postcards, so I could tear them out and stick them up on the walls around here. So we could all look at the collection. And wonder. Because it's definitely a collection worth wondering about.
Even if I did have to resort to gift shop pictures.
When we got home, Dominic was waiting for FDPG with his Rock Monster Lego constructions. "Come see these!" he shouted at her as soon as she walked in the front door. Off she went. A minute later she was back in the kitchen, and Dominic was slamming his bedroom door. "What's up?" I asked her. "Oh, that Dominic," she said, "there was me having a really boring morning and all he can talk about it Lego."
Gee, FDPG. I'm SO glad you had a good time.