Sunday, 17 August 2008

A meandering entry about museums and Roman stuff

London has so many museums I sometimes feel that even if I spent all of my free time visiting them it would still take four or five years to see all of their displays. Nonetheless, over the past month of "summer" I have done my best to see at least a few. I learnt all about the history of medicine while joining Ngaire for a trip to the Science Museum, as well as also finding out that even though I declared science to be my arch nemesis aged 15 it can actually be interesting. A trip to the Natural History Museum yesterday made me glad that I will never see a dinosaur face-to-face, and a visit to a special exhibit at the Imperial War Museum last month on the real James Bond was an excellent reminder that I would make a rubbish spy.

Stephen and Tane on the other hand have the stealth moves down

As part of my "I am such a museum buff right now" phase, Tane and I also went to see an exhibit on Emperor Hadrian at the British Museum. It was an excellent exhibit, and and a good reminder that not only were the Romans in Britain (I pity the poor Italian born sods that were sent to cold and miserable Britain) but that I saw an old Roman town last month and had totally forgotten to blog about it.
Being a used toga salesman in Verulanium
St Albans is less than an hour from London, and is famous for its Norman church. What I didn't realise was that it's giant park that we spent a decent amount of time wandering around on was covering the Roman settlement of Verulanium. Most of the old town is buried, but you can see the old amphitheatre there as well as some of the mosaics that have been dug up - those that weren't sold off for a penny a square by a dodgy 1930s archeologists that is. I never really appreciated how massive the Roman Empire was until I saw the mosaics there and thought about the Roman mosaics I saw in Turkey and Italy, as well as the Roman ruins we saw in Bulgaria. Among other things, the extensive Roman Empire means that there is always something really old for history geeks like us to enjoy. Awesomeus excellentus.

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