"Rijksmuseum van Oudheden" translates to "National Museum of Antiquities." So this is a museum filled with old things from different countries and cultures. This place must be an anthropologist's dream. It's a dream for me too-- I love looking at the different artifacts.
I've visited this museum a couple of times already (one of the perks of studying with Central College Abroad is that part of what you pay for is a museum card. This museum card helps me get into most museums throughout the Netherlands for free. So awesome!), and I know that I'll be visiting more as the semester goes on and as new exhibits are put together. But even within just two visits, I've realized how cool and diverse this museum is!
The Egypt exhibit was mostly about how the ancient Egyptians dealt with and felt about death. Death took a lot of preparation. Once a very important person died, it could take around a month to get them prepared, preserved, and ready for mummification. It wasn't just the body that needed to be prepared though. The tomb needed to be built (often these tombs were under construction long before the person actually died), the spells and incantations needed to be carved into the sarcophagus to assist the dead person in their journey through the underworld. It was a lot of extensive work.
Greece and Rome Exhibits
I like that for these two exhibits, they had plaques that talked about what the Greek and Roman cultures were like, putting the artifacts in front of me in context.
I was most interested in what the people of the time were like and what their values were. The picture in the upper left (photo above) was my favorite find (near Rome exhibit) because of how the women are shaped. They're curvy and wide and they don't all have very defined waists. The ideal woman was shaped differently than she is today. It's interesting how things change.
History of the Netherlands
My favorite exhibits above all were the ones about the Middle Ages in the Netherlands as well as the exhibit that was a giant timeline of the Netherlands, complete with artifacts found around the Netherlands during different periods of time. Part of the reason why I chose to come to the Netherlands is because this country is very much unknown to me. I didn't know any history or facts about the Netherlands until I came here. This was a great way to get an idea of the general history of the Netherlands. I'll take a course called The History of the Low Countries (the Netherlands) starting the week of the 22nd, so this is kind of getting a sneak peek.
This is definitely one of my favorite places in Leiden so far. I can't wait to keep exploring!
Thanks for Reading! Tot Ziens!