Last Friday I went to the British Museum for a day out. I had pre-booked tickets to the two big exhibitions Babylon and Shah 'Abbas The Remaking of Iran. I have wanted to see the glazed brick lions from the Ishtar Gate for years and was really disappointed to find them facing in the wrong direction. There was an architectural model which clearly showed them in position facing outwards from down the processional way so why were they facing away from the visitor in the exhibition? It was also extremely crowded and almost claustrophobic which was a bit disappointing too, as visitors were only admitted on timed tickets. The Shah 'Abbas exhibition was much better, more space to actually look at the exhibits and room to be able to stand and read the information panels. Many of the exhibits were text and in particular excerpts from the Qu'ran and although I was unable to read these this did not detract from the beautiful details.
I think I enjoyed the main bits of the museum more than the special exhbitions though and love this detail from a stone with it's little carved turtle. My favourite thing of the day though was this circle of tiny carved Inuit birds. Although it was set out in a circle which, to the casual observer suggests a string of beads, they were described as gaming pieces and it said it was a game where the pieces were tossed into the air and caught - like the game of Jacks.