Ancient Greek British Museum collection includes artifacts from across the entire Greek world, ranging in date from the beginning of pre-history to early Christianity in the Byzantine era. The Department of Greece at the British Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of antiquities from the Classical world, with over 100,000 objects.
Ancient Greek British Museum
The collection includes important sculpture from the Parthenon in Athens, as well as elements of two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos. The collections of ancient jewelry and bronzes, Greek vases and Roman glass and silver are particularly important.
Ancient Greece Daily Life
It also tells us certain important facts about ancient Greece. Life in ancient Greece was quite different for men and women. Whilst men were expected to take an active part in the public life of their city, women were expected to lead a private life as wives and mothers. Their lives were centered on the home.
Slavery was a big feature of Greek daily life. Wealthy families used to have slaves to do their household chores, shopping, and even care for their children. Even famous scholars like Aristotle had endorsed slavery and considered it a way of life and important for the well-being of society.
While in the city of Sparta the system was a bit different as the slaves used to belong to the entire city instead of individuals. Here women led more active lives, getting a voice in national assemblies, and also engaged in physical activities which increased their abilities to have healthy babies. Sparta used to have all healthy males in the army where they used to be in the army barracks always leading a martial way of life
Festivals in Greece usually included a procession and a sacrifice.
Ancient Greece Games
Festivals also included various competitions, which were seen as another way to honor a god. There were competitions in music, poetry, drama and also athletics.
Every fourth year between 776 BC and AD 395, the Olympic Games, held in honor of the god Zeus, the supreme god of Greek mythology, attracted people from across Greece. Crowds watched sports such as running, discus-throwing and the long jump.
Philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle formulated ideas about how the world worked. Ancient Greece also played a vital role in the early history of coinage. As well as making some of the worlds earliest coins, the ancient Greeks were the first to use them extensively in trade.
The wars with the Persians had a great effect on ancient Greeks. The Athenian Acropolis was destroyed by the Persians, but the Athenian response was to build the beautiful buildings whose ruins we can still see today. In Greek art, there are many depictions of Greeks fighting Persians and Greek plays also feature the Persian enemy.
Ancient Greece Artifacts
Hence the Ancient Greek British Museum is home to many artifacts of ancient Greece. It is a must visit place for anyone interested in knowing about Greece’s history.
The British museums contains over 100,000 Greeks in their collections.
Ancient Greek Pottery
Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses
Looking at the collections of the British museum, a number of gods and goddesses can be identified.
According to Greek mythology, the world started when Gaia(the Earth) originated from Chaos- an empty nothingness giving birth to Quaranos (the sky) and other deities like Pontos(the Sea) and Ourea(the mountain).
The number of gods and their stories which can be identified are:
- Zeus- He is considered to be the king of God and is recognized by a thunderbolt, the eagle, and the Oak tree. He is also shown among clouds or sitting at the top of Mount Olympus as a sky god.
- Poseidon – He is the God of the sea, horses and earthquakes which is symbolized by his trident, horses and dolphins.
- Athena- She is the Half-sister of Ares and the Goddess of Reason, handicraft, wisdom, and wart. She is symbolized by an owl and an olive tree.
- Ares- He is the God of War and is recognized by his armor and weapons which include a spear or a shield.
- Hera- Hera is the wife and sister of Zeus considered to be the Queen of Gods. She is symbolized by a peacock, a cuckoo, or a cow.
- Demeter- She is considered as the goddess of agriculture and harvest and is depicted with crops like barley and wheat.
- Apollo- He is the twin brother of Artemis and has been associated with the sun, music, archery, prophecy and healing.
- Artemis- She is the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, chastity and childbirth. He is identified with a stag or a hunting dog.
- Venus- She is the goddess of love, sex, and beauty. Her symbols are doves, roses and myrtles.
- Hermes- He is considered to be the messager of gods and also a pastoral god, protecting livestock and travels. His symbols included the caduceus and also his winged sandals and cap, and a tortoise.
- Dionysus- She is considered as the youngest of all Olympians and the son of Zeus. He was the God of wine, vines, fertility and festivity.