Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Royal Visit

Yesterday, I didn't need to imagine that I was friends with members of the Royal family from centuries ago, because Prince Philip came to see us at the museum. I suppose it wasn't quite like finally meeting Queen Elizabeth I or her father, but it was thrilling all the same.

The Prince came to see our new galleries in Plymouth. Apparently his favourite object was this one on the left - the Cattewater Gun. It was discovered in 1973 when the mouth of the river Plym was being dredged. It is one of many guns which would have been mounted on the ships rail and fired at the crews of enemy vessels. Guns such as these were the most common armament used at sea by both naval and merchant vessels between AD 1450 to 1520. During this period, William Caxton published the first book in England and King Henry VIII became the King. A few years after this gun fell into the murky waters of the River Plym, the English Reformation began, and many Monasteries, like this gun, were lost.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Ginger the Dead Egyptian

It's taken me some time to decide exactly how I am going to write this blog. I have foolishly taken far too much time mulling over all sorts of ideas. I even thought it would be interesting to write the blog from the point view of a ghost who lurks within the museum stores, watching over their collection and spying on the staff. But I think I was missing the point. This is my blog after all, and therefore it should consist of descriptions of my experiences in the museum... so here it goes.

I've always been interested in history, and have happy memories of my journeys through time. I remember working on topic books when I was in primary school, and really enjoying myself as I escaped the present. I embraced topics such as the "Tudors and Stuarts" to such a point that I used to dream I was friends with kings and queens of that time. I thought I couldn't be happier in my imaginary world, I thought nothing could be better than being friends with Joan of Arc. But that was before I studied the Egyptians...

I wasn't sure why we had to go all the way up to London for a school trip, I had never travelled that far on a school day before. But then I had never visited the British Museum before either. Gosh, it was amazing. I remember not knowing what to do with myself because I was so amazed and excited at seeing so many old things. Then, I saw him - Ginger. A 5400 year old mummy from Gebelein, Egypt. Here is the poem I wrote the night after I saw him.

Ginger the Dead Egyptian
He was called that because of his hair
He lay in a scrunched-up position
And really he was quite bare

His tongue was all dry and crispy
His tummy had all fallen in
Perhaps he died before dinner
And that’s what made him so thin!