The British Museum is indeed a treasure house of artworks and artifacts sourced from different parts of the world. It remains one of the most popular and highly visited places in Britain due to its sheer size and impressive collections. Most of these collections are as popular as the museum itself. Visitors that tour British Museum often flock around these valuable artifacts in order to glimpse at the life and culture from a bygone era.
Yet besides the popular attractions, several other artifacts lie in different parts in the museum. Often neglected by the visitors, these artifacts are astonishing in their value and a bit strange when thinking of their origins and purpose. Visiting them during a British Museum guided tour is one way to make the most of your visit and learn a bit more about the forgotten history. Below is a list of some of the lesser-known yet valuable artifacts displayed in the British Museum.
The Flood Tablet
The Flood Tablet is a little known but highly valuable artifact displayed inside the British Museum. It is believed to be an actual record of the details surrounding the great flood. Written in the cuneiform script, this tablet attributes its origins to the 7th century and is an important part of the epic of Gilgamesh. It details some of the accounts of the great flood and Noah’s ark. It is one of the most important and valuable text still in existence.
The Mask of Quetzalcoatl
Another strange artifact in the British Museum is the mask of Quetzalcoatl. This mask was given as a gift by the then Aztec Emperor, Montezuma II, to the Spanish Conquistador, Captain Hernan Cortes. The mask is complex in its design and is made of Cedrela odorata wood and decorated with various items like a conch shell. The mask of Quetzalcoatl is a valuable artifact displayed in the British Museum that offers a glimpse into one of the most important periods of the Aztec empire.
The Crystal Skull
Yet another mysterious artifact displayed in the British Museum is the crystal skull. Its origins are still disputed and scientists at the British Museum have analyzed the artifact. They concluded that its origins are traceable back to the Pre-Columbian era of America. The skull has acquired its mysterious reputation among many who believes its origins to the Mayan period or before. It is still an interesting artifact to visit in the British Museum.