Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Museum of London

About 400,000 people visit the Museum of London each year. Today, our group could be added to those statistics. The Museum of London was built in 1976 and showcases the complete history of London. It is a combination of the Old Guild Hall Museum and the London Museum. Our class was given a presentation about the exhibit by Jonathan Cotton, one of the museum's curators. He asked us to think about the meaning of prehistory. He disuaded any thoughts we might have had about dinasaurs and cavemen, and stressed that London's prehistoric inhabitants were intelligent and creative. Jon Cotton also spoke about the formation and centrality of the Thames River, and how people congregated about it through time.

It reminded me of how all great civilizations start with water: Mesopotamia with the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and Egypt with the Nile River, to name a couple. Even New York is on the water--but I know it doesn't compare! There's the Mississippi River as well, made famous by the musical, Showboat. I'm sure there are plenty of rivers in the world, and it is interesting to think of how geography has shaped civilizations and played a role in history.

After Jon Cotton's presentation, we were able to walk around the exhibits. His framework and background information provided me with a more meaningful experience. The exhibit brought together different artifacts such as bones, tool, glass beads, jewelry and a model of a prehistoric settlement. All were very interesting and proved that indeed, these were intelligent individuals.

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