The second day of our weekend was refreshingly dry with bright intervals, so after a hotel breakfast we set off on a short walk to the British Museum and the Scythians. In 2000 I was enchanted by a Scythian exhibit that I saw in San Antonio, prompted by Paul Richard’s stellar review that began, “The Scythians on horseback, especially in sunlight, must have been a sight.” That exhibit led me on a long journey that included the exploits of Alexander the Great and generally led to a fascination with the ancient world. I couldn’t wait to see this new exhibit that included many newly discovered objects and information.
It was a lovely wander as we waited for our timed ticket entry. Because they did not allow photos in the exhibit, and because I am a dutiful citizen, I have no pictures of my own. But here are a few gleaned from the web.
The Scythians are known primarily from their elaborate burial mounds, as well as from the sometimes misleading information about them from Herodotus. Nomadic horseman with a taste for gold, they buried gorgeous items like this, half of a symmetrical belt buckle.
Notice the lack of stirrups, which didn’t hold them back.
Since burial mounds are continuing to be discovered and investigated, our knowledge of the Scythians continues to grow. But for now, this exhibit, drawing on collections from around the world, offers the best and most recent information.
How did I not get a picture of these two?? It was so much fun to talk with Beth, whom I hadn’t seen in years, and to hear about their adventures and plans. We had a good lunch with a half pint of something local, and then wandered on to Persephone Books, where we browsed through the shelves of twentieth century women writers but didn’t buy anything.
Better to spend the time making a sign rather than actually fixing the banister! We stopped at both Quintos and Henry Pordes Books, at the latter of which Alison snapped up a signed paperback by John Steinbeck for Michael.
Tonight was our splurge at an Indian restaurant, Quilon, where we enjoyed a Qojito, oysters, lamb shank, duck breast, lemon rice, Malabar paratha and this lovely dessert.
And so to bed.