The collection illustrates the story of human culture, documenting its beginnings to the present.
Founded in 1753, the British Museum began with the collection of Sir Hans Sloan, a British scientist and physician. Even today, these artefacts can be seen in its original allure, which make up the majority of the collection in the museum. During the time, it became one of the city’s top attractions because of the 71,000 objects it housed. Located in Montagu House, the British Museum was launched to the general public in 1759. Its prime location in Bloomsbury has enabled it to become one of the most visited attractions, bringing visitors and tourists from around the world.
Over the last two and half centuries, the building of the British Museum has undergone drastic reconstruction and renovation. With the intention of housing more artefacts, the museum was expanded, creating a number of branch institutions. This is due to the expanding British colonial footprint, producing an infinite number of artefacts around the world; some of which are still being discovered. The British Museum of Natural History was the first branch institution established which occurred in 1887. Among the other branch institutions, the most popular ones are the Smirke Building, The Great Court and the Pantheon Galleries.
The traveller will find a number of departments at the British Museum, showcasing artefacts from around the world. A highlight will be the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, regarded as the one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world, outside of Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. Featuring objects from all periods of importance, the collection depicts the cultures in Sudan and Egypt, spanning over 11,000 years, from the Coptic times to the Predynastic Neolithic period.
Other departments include Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Department of the Middle East, Department of Prints and Drawings, Department of Asia, Department of Coins and Medals, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research and Department of Prehistory and Europe.
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