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Welcome to Greenwich

Welcome to Greenwich

Polynesia The islands of the eastern Pacific are known as Polynesia, from the Greek for ‘many islands’. They lie across a vast stretch of ocean from Hawaii in the north, to New Zealand in the south and Easter Island in the east. The western Polynesian islands of Fiji and Tonga were settled approximately 3,000 years ago, whilst New Zealand was settled as recently as AD1200. In the past, Polynesians were skilled navigators and canoe builders, creating double-hulled vessels capable of travelling great distances. Their societies were hierarchical, with the highest ranking people tracing their descent directly from the gods. Today, Polynesian culture continues to develop and change, partly in response to colonialism. The Polynesian collections at the Museum date back to the earliest contact with European explorers and missionaries.

British Museum Ancient Egypt Towards the end of the fourth millennium BC several independent city-states were unified to form a single state, marking the beginning of over 3,000 years of pharaonic civilisation in the Nile Valley. Fertile earth left behind after the yearly Nile flood provided the basis for Egypt’s agricultural prosperity, a key factor in the longevity of the civilisation. Impressive monuments were erected in the name of kings, from monumental temples for the gods to the pyramids marking the burials of rulers. The British Museum collection includes statuary and decorated architecture from throughout pharaonic history, often inscribed with hieroglyphs. Many other aspects of ancient Egyptian culture are represented: coffins and mummies of individuals, but also furniture, fine jewellery and other burial goods. Texts preserved on papyrus help reveal the complex administration of the country, but also include magical, medical and mathematical works and poetry.

Image Aztecs (Mexica) During the twelfth century AD the Mexica were a small and obscure tribe searching for a new homeland. Eventually they settled in the Valley of Mexico and founded their capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1345. At the beginning of the sixteenth century it was one of the largest cities in the world. Warfare was extremely important for the Mexica people and led them to conquer most of modern-day central and southern Mexico. They controlled their huge empire through military strength, a long-distance trading network and the tribute which conquered peoples had to pay. Stone sculpture in the British Museum collection reflects the Mexica's complex religious beliefs and the large pantheon of gods they worshipped. Craftsmen also worked in gold, turquoise mosaic and feathers. Hernán Cortés and his small Spanish army arrived in 1519 and overthrew the Mexica ruler Moctezuma Xocoyotzin with relative ease. *The people and culture we know as 'Aztec' referred to themselves as the Mexica (pronounced 'Mé-shee-ka').

Painting of the Month He’s England’s patron saint, but little can be said with any certainty about Saint George. According to legend, Saint George was a Roman soldier who refused to recant his Christian faith, and who was subjected to brutal torture and death by the Emperor Diocletian. He was martyred in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey) and buried in Lydda (in modern Israel). Uccello depicts the scene for which Saint George is most associated - his battle with the dragon - a legend that became popular in the 13th century when recounted by Jacobus de Voragine. The legend tells of a town in Lydda, terrorised by a fearsome dragon living in a nearby lake. One day, the lot fell upon the king’s daughter. Uccello has chosen to show both the moment that George defeats the dragon (more accurately, a wyvern), and the moment when the dragon is subdued by the princess’s girdle. George is depicted in somewhat anachronistic armour for 1470, and the princess is very fashionably dressed.

Piccadilly Circus Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre. Piccadilly Circus est un carrefour routier et un espace piéton situé à Londres, au Royaume-Uni. La place, autrefois considérée comme le centre de l'Empire britannique, constitue encore de nos jours un des centres névralgiques de Londres, et est réputée pour l'enchantement que procure le scintillement de la pléthore d'enseignes lumineuses qui la recouvre, mais elle est également entourée de plusieurs curiosités touristiques, dont une fontaine érigée en 1893 en mémoire de Lord Shaftesbury et surplombée par un Ange de la Charité chrétienne (communément appelé Éros), ou encore le théâtre Criterion, le London Pavilion et plusieurs magasins célèbres. Non loin se trouvent le London Trocadero, centre commercial et de loisirs, et la statue Horses of Helios. Situation[modifier | modifier le code] Plan de Piccadilly Circus et de ses environs. Origine du nom[modifier | modifier le code] Historique[modifier | modifier le code] Piccadilly Circus en 1896.

The National Gallery