Saturday, August 27, 2011

Touching History

Touching History by susanvg
Touching History, a photo by susanvg on Flickr.

London - We spent part of the day at the British Museum. We had listened to A History of the World in 100 Objects, a podcast series from the British Museum and were looking forward to seeing some of the objects that had been described. It was exciting to find them and to really see the size and to be able to see them from all angles.

This object was not part of that series, but it was a thrill to be able to hold it. The museum has stations where volunteers display artifacts from the museum; they give the background and let you hold them. I remember some years ago holding a Roman coin and realizing that once this was the currency and someone who lived at that time carried it with them to spend on whatever was available at the time.

But this piece dated much farther back - 350,000 years. It is an axe that was fashioned by a homo erectus man. To touch this, to think that someone, not yet homo sapiens, used rock to chip at this to create the shape was amazing. Those fingers held this rock and thousands of years later we touched it and marvelled.

So much of this trip has been about touching history.


  1. What a thrilling and fascinating hands-on experience! You and someone 350,000 years ago touched the same thing beyond time and space. I wonder how much we humans evolved?

  2. How wonderful - to realize the continuum of centuries connecting you to this artifact. My Grands would soak up this history (me, too!).