July 15th- Today we visited the Museum of London. The goal of the Museum of London is to provide visitors information about London before it actually became the London that we all know and love. The new Museum of London was opened in 1976 by the Queen and is a combination of the OldGuildHallMuseum and the LondonMuseum and provides an overview of the archaeology of greater London.
The Museum of London receives approximately 400,000 visitors annually, half of those visitors are from London and/or the surrounding counties and the other half are tourists and/or visiting scholars, like yours truly! The Museum of London takes it education of the public seriously as the school curriculum in greater Britain begins with the Roman invasion of Britain and not include prehistoric London (and no, I don’t mean dinosaurs!). Starting with the formation of the Thames Valley in 450,000 BC and moving on to about 50AD (the founding of Roman Londinium), the focus of the Museum of London is to note changes in the early Landscape of London (before it became London), the legacy the early years have left, the people who lived there during prehistoric times, and the importance of the River Thames. Essentially, if there was no river, there would be no London.
The exhibits we walked through after first discussing their set-up with the Prehistory Curator, Jon Cotton, showed changes in landscape as well as the home life experienced by prehistoric people living in the ThamesValley region. Not only were we able to see the last standing portion of the centuries-old Roman Wall, located outside the Museum (pictured above) but we saw amazing artifacts like the remains of a prehistoric woman, the jewelry she might have worn ad the animals she might have encountered. All in all our experience at the Museum of London gave us a lot to think about.