One busy day at work… Eight Mummies and Wicked Bodies.

Yesterday was a long and tiring day and had it’s ups and downs. I went to London to represent the University at an Access to HE Fair.  The incredibly early morning and fair went well.  We spoke to a lot of potential students who were tkaing the Access to HE route into university and told them about our courses, finances, what it is like and tried to encourage them to aim high.   There was also the obligatory comparison of our pens against other universities freebies.  That is not really what I wanted to write about though.

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I had some time after the fair to go into the British Museum and have a look at the new Eight Mummies, Eight Lives, Eight Stories exhibition.   I was mightily impressed.  The researchers at the BM have used CT scanning to reveal the inner workings of 8 mummies from different eras without having to use invasive methods. The presentation of the findings were clear and detailed.  Each mummy has at least one screen showing the CT scan revealing the under wrappings or internal organs with pointers of what to look for and why.  Some even have touch activated winding wheels that means you can control how fast the outer layers disappear and show what is hidden underneath.   The attention to detail is amazing, even down to the 3D printing of the funerary ornaments wrapped amoungst the cloth on the Egyptian mummy.   Only one thing bothered me.  The mummies are in there with the CT scanning images, but you get transfixed with the shiney technology and have to remember that the original artefacts and people are still there too.

I had a little time left over to managed to get into the Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibition.  This is in the prints and drawings gallery and comprises of woodcuts, etchings, sketches and lithographs on the subject, organised in chronological order.   I took a sneaky picture of one print…

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The orderings of the display allows for the progression of ideas and themes to show through.  The 15th Century prints include fantastical beasts a la Bosch (sadly no Bosch in there though).  It occured to me as I went through the exhibition that many artists stopped using fantastical beasts, I wonder if this was because all beasts in the world had been discovered…   On the whole though, I loved this exhibition.

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Ok two sneaky pictures!

Following that I headed back to the train station.  Now here is my rant about yesterday.
The British are famed for their queuing – except when it comes to getting on a train.  This particular train was late, but even before it had arrived a herd had formed that was clammering to get onto a train that wasn’t there.  People were slipping past each other as it wasn’t a queue to be respected but a battle to be first on the train.  The train was over full, and there were a lot of reserved seats (in fact all of them seemed to be reserved). The train filled and there was a push to get to a seat whether reserved or not.  People were pushing past each other, dragging bags and generally being incredibly rude to each other.  It was absolutely awful and then made worse by a lady putting her suitcase onto my broken toe.

I just don’t understand this behaviour, we don’t do it on buses, so why trains!?!

Anyway I got home to the friendly face of the cat eventually.

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