Wow – the actual Rosetta Stone,
inscribed in 196 BC is a decree
on behalf of Egyptian King Ptolemy.
Written in three languages (Egyptian
Hieroglyphics, Demotic and Ancient
Greek) it was studied for decades
after it was found in 1800.  Being
the only trilingual transcript, it
provided the key to unlocking the
meaning of the Hieroglyphics.
Displayed in the British Museum
since 1802, it is the most visited
object.  It took decades of study,
following the discovery, for lingual
scholars to actually crack the code.
The mummy collection here is better
than the one at the Cairo Museum in
Egypt.  Long the subject of national
rivalry, Egypt would be very happy
to have these returned home,
along with the Rosetta Stone.
Ah, so this is where the friezes that were pried off
the Acropolis in Athens ended up.  Tsk! Tsk!

Fascinating modern exhibit called
“Cradle to Grave” illustrates the
medical history of a typical man
and a woman.  Each piece contains
over 14,000 drugs, the estimated
average prescribed to every person
in Britain in their lifetime.  Each
pill is sewn into a pocket of knitted
nylon filament.
The Viking Exhibit featured a 121 ft. long ship, the
longest ever excavated. Sunk in 1025.  A steel frame
was built around surviving timbers to show what the shape
would have been.  This ship was found in Denmark,
under the site they were digging to expand the
Danish Viking Museum in 1997!
Inside the British Museum, a criss crossed natural
skylight canopy stretches between old stone buildings.
At two acres, the Great Court is the largest covered
public square in Europe.
Ostentatious heavy gold necklaces were worn by
Vikings for good reason.  First, they moved around
a lot, and had no practical way to store their wealth.
Second, fine gold and silver were often cut up
and redistributed by weight,  sometimes to pay
the crew immediately for a job well done.
Dragon heads were often used to strike fear into
whatever natives the Vikings were after.  Historians
now believe the Vikings were less bloodthirsty than
their reputation would have one believe.  They were
more global traders than warriors.  But they did excel
at exaggeration and intimidating storytelling.