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THATKid Tuesday- Percy Jackson at the British Museum
19 avril 2018
  • THATBrit (British Museum),
  • THATKid Tuesday

THATKid Tuesday- Percy Jackson at the British Museum

The Percy Jackson series tells the stories of the half-mortal / half-god children (called demigods) of the ancient Greek Mythology. The story follows Percy, son of Poseidon, and his friends at Camp Half Blood, which is the only place where young heroes are really safe from the monsters that constantly hunt them.


camp half blood logo
Camp Half Blood Logo - Photo via Google Images

As important as Camp Half Blood is, the Parthenon (the 5th Century temple in Athens), is at least ten times more important. The Parthenon is easily the single most important building to the Western Cannon of architecture. It was built as an offering to the goddess Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, and mother to Annabeth Chase of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. On our Fun & Games treasure hunt, we ask you to count how many Chariots are on the Parthenon’s frieze, which runs the length of the British Museum’s most famous treasure. These treasured stones, which the English call the Elgin Marbles’, were stolen from Greece by Lord Elgin in 1805-1807. Elgin’s day job was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (Constantinople, the capital, is the old name for Istanbul), but he was really interested in archaeology.
True to his role as an Imperialist Ambassador, Elgin was also a stone robber; so when he stopped off in Athens he stole the freestanding statues of the Pediment (showing the Gods and Goddesses), the reliefs of the Frieze (mere mortals or humans in a procession giving donation to Athena) and the square reliefs of the Metopes (telling the story of Centaurs fighting Lapiths – more on those Centaurs, half man, half horse, in a moment!).


whats what on the parthenon
Architecture of the Parthenon - Photo via Google Images


Can you think of a building in your home town that is loosely based on the Parthenon, with pediment, frieze and a forest of columns (known as a portico, it protects visitors from the rain)? When you visit the British Museum, whose façade is a copy, you’ll see this.
In the books by Riordan, Annabeth spends a lot of time mastering both flying chariots and chariot races. Much like the charioteers depicted racing in the Olympic games on this ancient temple to Athena, trying to establish athletic superiority and gain honors, Annabeth and her fellow campers raced to determine honors as well. The campers of Camp Half Blood however, compete for positions far much more coveted than Gold, Silver and Bronze, they compete for the best chore slots in the camp.



Parthenon Chariot Races
Chariot on the Parthenon Frieze - Photo via Google Images

In The Sea of Monsters, Percy and Annabeth compete together against the other cabins, alternating between who was the driver and who fended off the magical attacks of the other campers as they raced. Chiron, the camp leader (and a centaur) had previously banned chariot races because they were so dangerous, but with his absence in this book, they were re-instated. They might not have had magic in the chariot races in Ancient Greece, but chariots were decked out with all sorts of weapons used to secure victory. Look closely and you might even find some!

centaur battle
Parthenon Metope of a Lapith killing a Centaur - Photo Credit Daisy de Plume

When you look at the metopes you’ll notice that they tell the story of some rowdy centaurs (most likely the Party Ponies) crashing a Lapith wedding. The Centaurs planned on stealing Lapith wives (they failed, the Lapiths won!).
If you’ve read Percy Jackson you’ll know that Chiron doesn’t act like a Party Pony any more, but back in his youth he certainly did. Who knows, Chiron could very well be one of the centaurs (half man, half horse) that are forever immortalized on the Parthenon!
As for reading this blog post, you’ll be well rewarded with having learned the answers to some potential bonus questions – such as how many chariots are on the frieze (we count 8), what parts of architecture the Pediment, Frieze and Metope are as well as thinking about just HOW you can get your team to pose as one of the fighting centaur and lapiths… not so hard if you’re willing to sell your price, except your THATMuse challenge is to do so without heads, true to these Parthenon metopes!

British Museum THATMuse!
25 août 2015
  • Museum Musings,
  • Misc,
  • THATBrit (British Museum)

British Museum THATMuse!

Norman Foster Great Hall in the British Museum
The sky’s the limit! Looking up at the British Museum’s Norman Foster Great Hall Big News!

THATLou is expanding to London museums in 2016, starting with the British Museum, under the name THATMuse, which stands for “Treasure Hunt at the Museum”

For our soft launch, the British Museum is hosting THATMuse focusing on Fun & Games in Museums. We’re honored that the BM is featuring “The Art of Play: A Treasure Hunt Challenge” as part of their Friday night BM/PMs series, from 6:15-8:15 pm on Friday 11 September 2015. Registration is through the British Museum website, for 5£.

This soft-launch of THATMuse is open to the general public, come one, come all to scout out Fun & Games at the venerable British Museum! As with all of our public hunts, you’re welcomed to sign up without a partner (& will be placed in a team of 4) or as a team through the above link.

RULES are straight-forward: to find as many pieces of treasure within the given amount of time, photographing your team in front of each treasure as proof that you’ve found it (& stuck together as a team!). We’ll tally scores over a drink in the BM’s Clore Education Center before the prize giving ceremony!

TOOLS are few: a keen sense of curiosity, freshly charged batteries and comfy shoes!

In anticipation I’ll be posting photos of the British Museum and its surrounding Bloomsbury neighborhood on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as possibly dropping some THATMuse hints, so feel free to connect on any of the platforms.

British Museum Ceiling
Apparently there are 3,320 panes of glass in this glorious ceiling, as I learned in Yannick Pucci’s (of London Unravelled) BM Highlights tour!

Our handle is:

@DaisydePlume

on all social media where I post silliness such as the photos in this post, including this one of me trying to steal a kiss from Storsh on his favorite BM Lion
Daisy and Storsh at the British Museum Lion
THATBrit Sample Clue
  • Hunt Booking Info,
  • THATBrit (British Museum)

THATBrit Sample Clue



LION HUNT FRIEZES
Palace of Ashurbanipal, North Palace of Nineveh (Northern Iraq) Assyrian (Mesopotamian), 645 BC
In 12th century Europe lions begin to decorate royal coat of arms; this connection between kingship & lions was probably a result of the European crusades to the Middle East.  Here we have a chief source, the Assyrian Lion Hunt frieze – a triumph of Man over Nature. King Ashurbanipal left his mark on his grandfather’s Palace at Nineveh (a city measuring 12kms/7.5 miles) with the North Palace, where these fine feline creatures – vicious, attacking & sad brutes meeting their grisly end – lined the walls.  Get a load of just what the fence of this hunting field was made of: shielded soldiers lined shoulder-to-shoulder (oh go on, earn 20 THATMuse points for a photo of your team lined up in profile like them & pointing to one of their rows (there are two human shields within this room)... I guess men were as disposable as lions to the Assyrians!  Apparently the Mesopotamian lion, brought to extinction by the 19th C (quelle surprise!), was compared in size to a large St Bernard dog. Still, that doesn’t lessen the queasiness I feel when seeing the small boy standing above their cages (see his small protective cage above?) whose job it was to liberate those ferocious creatures (take 20 THATMuse points for a photo pointing one of these boys out). And yet the 21st C viewer finds compassion for these bloodied beasts, writhing in their last moments. For a bit of your own hunting, scour these gypsum alabaster reliefs & earn 50 THATMuse points by listing 4 of the 8 types of animals found in this room (notincluding lion or man!). No partial credit, but the BM tags do help!          

GAME POINTS: 20