Thoughts After Roaming the British Museum

This is not especially profound, I don’t think.  But yesterday I roamed the British Museum all afternoon looking over different exhibits.  I went fairly quickly through it, didn’t really spend a lot of time looking over things.  Part of that has to do with the fact that at a certain point a realization dawned on me, which is that everything in the museum is more or less the same!  By that, I mean there are only a handful of concepts used as to create all the different artifacts and  that the variety is merely minor variations on those concepts.  For instance, across every culture represented, any instrument used to hold water, be it a bowl or a vase or a jar or whatever, is always round.  Coffins always take on basically the same shape.  Statues always show people in more or less the same of one or two pose options.  Now, I’m not trying to take away from the magnificence of the artifacts.  It was quite an impressive collection and quite a bit of variety in the details of what was painted on the jar or what color was used or how decorated with jewels something was.  But my point is, the enormous size of the collection and the repetition of ideas that occurred in it also showed the very common set of concepts that people hold to that form the basis of all these other ideas.  Now, what that might mean, what conclusion might be drawn from it, I will save to explore on another day…

What do you think? I would love to hear from you, please share your thoughts. Just remember to be respectful of others.

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