I had some time to kill before going into a lecture so decided to pop into the British Museum to potter around.
Never heard of him, but seems to be a rather big cheese way back.
This I managed to see. It was fascinating, to see how much the rather gruesome relics of saints were venerated. Well, the sufi’s still do it and in so many other places in Europe, you can still see these gruesome relics.
This is an Indian Stele. This is a sati stone. Around 18th century. Made to commemorate the burning of widows on the cremation pyre of their husbands. Witness one of the most heinous crimes ever committed on women in the name of religion. Bastards.
A Buddha from Afghanistan.
Then popped into the Latin American Section. This is an Aztec Book with pictographs. Amazingly brilliant colours and detailed work. Amazing, absolutely brilliant. I loved it. I wish I could have a copy.
Then popped into the Islamic Gallery. This is a brass instrument, inlaid with silver, gold and copper, around 1241AD. This is used to divine the future. The idea is that the dial at the bottom was turned and then the top windows will show a random collection of dots, that is then used to divine the future.
This is the rear of the instrument. Quite a beautiful work. The lettering apparently refers to the house of dreams and comfort, house of power and wealth, house of responsibility and it talks about memory & desires and the need to keep the desires in check and not to judge anyone because only Allah knows best. Or words to the effect. Interesting, eh? If the Wahhabi’s came to know about this, they will burn and destroy this as they do with anything closely resembling soothsaying or witchcraft.
Came out and then watched these lovely tall corinthinian columns rear their proud heads, holding up the roof for the past so many decades. Wonderful place, the BM, I love to pop in there and wander around observing the various artefacts. And its free. Love it.
By the way, take a look at this very interesting exhibition at the BM. The world in 100 objects.