Monday, 5 December 2011

Museum of London

Day two in the Wild Place brought me to The Museum of London for the first time. The Number 11 bus from Victoria took me to St Paul's Cathedral and a short walk to this amazing museum. It is very well laid out with an excellent cafe and facilities, including a room to eat your own food.  I was only able to view a fraction of the exhibits, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I caught a 45 minute tour of the Roman section at midday and learnt a lot from this. It was also a nice break from staring at the exhibits. Non-flash photos are allowed. Sue and I plan to visit the museum next year.
The Spitalfields lady was found in a lead casket inside a Lincolnshire stone sarcophagus with grave goods outside. Tooth analysis showed that she had grown up in Spain/Southern France/Italy and was probably Roman. DNA from the tooth showed her forbears were from the Basque region. Aged about 25, she possibly came to Londinium c300AD to marry an administrator or merchant. She was clearly from a wealthy family with quality grave goods and a fragment cloth with gold thread.

Spitalfields lady
This recreation of her head was created from using the skull by an artist who makes model heads for police identifications and which are 80% successful.
making hammered coins

corner of retired soldiers room
The Samian ware pots from Gaul are real and most are in pristine condition.
room from a wealthy citizen's home
Roman bath house
A tepidaruium and frigidarium were part of the establishment However the water was rarely changed so hygiene was not good.
Roman administrative centre of Londinium (Forum)
There is also a large Basilica or aisled hall.
riverside warehouses and dock by early London Bridge
Various items used for leisure activities
These include two of three Roman bikinis that exist in the world, worn by young dancing girls (below). Also clay dice just like modern ones and dice with letters whose use is not known. There were also tourist souvenirs from gladiatorial  fights. Gladiators were the stars of the day, but were too valuable to die in competition so the events were fixed like modern professional wrestling matches.

Gardens available for functions

view on walk back to St. Pauls'
walkway to museum
Access is via escalator or lift, then over walkway to the museum.

St. Paul's
glass buildings

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