I am a museum junkie.
The trouble with loving museums as much as I do is that whenever I travel, there is always some special exhibit that is over before I can get there or arrives after I leave.
So this made me a little whimpery:
The two short videos on the webpage are definitely worth watching. Quite a few of the objects in the second video are things I'm familiar with from books, including the gorgeous felted wool swan.
(This exhibit looks pretty interesting too: http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/living_with_gods.aspx)
I was in London in April, so I didn't get to see this and I am a tiny bit obsessed with Scythians and I'll be talking about them in the book.
Also, I want to hug the curator and feed him cookies.
If you are unfamiliar with the Scythians, they are the horse-riding bad-asses that terrified the Romans and gave us the legends of centaurs and Amazons. They were the first to perfect riding and riding tack to be able to really fight from horseback and they were incredible archers. The theory is that if you had never seen a horse being ridden, if you saw these folks it would seem as if horse and rider were one creature.
Here's a video of Mongolian horsemen, if you haven't been around horses much. Or even if you have. It's impressive.
It both amuses and infuriates me that when their burials were excavated in the late 19th and early 20th century, archaeologists would dig up a grave with armor, weapons and impressive hats that were clearly meant to designate someone important as say, '0h, male warrior'. Without even checking the skeleton to confirm gender. Well guess what? On further examination, a lot of these high status burials were women. The classic example of the "Golden Man"? Great jewelry. Not a man. Behold a gorgeous reproduction of the Golden Woman and the finery buried with her.
So, if you can get to the British Museum before the exhibit closes, definitely do that. (And if you are going to go and you can take some photos for me, let me know, pretty please)
If you want to read more about this culture, this book is really great.