Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
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One of the more common comments of DC tourists is "I want to see the Smithsonian". In fact, the Smithsonian is a complex of museums, and they're not even all located on The Mall (The National Zoo in Woodley Park, for example, is on the other side of town, and is part of the Smithsonian complex). These pictures are from a single hall (Western Cultures) on one floor of a single museum (Museum of Natural History) This is about all we were able to peruse in about an hour or so. South American cultures have their own hall (as do Asian Cultures, dinosaur fossils, mammalian fossils from the early Cenezoic, the Hope Diamond and other massive gemstones, and so on) As you can see, it's quite easy to quicly become soggy with history in an extremely short period of time.
The pictures and captions below are the best I could do without using a flash while taking pictures of items behind plexiglass, and the high level, histoty-for-jocks friendly descriptions favoured by the Smithsonian displays these days (see here for an example)
For all of those who asked for a better picture of my mummy ...
Carvings and drawings from Pharonic Egypt (near the end of the New Kingdom era)
Stelle and sarcophagus of a high priestess of the god Amon-Ra (ca. 1,000 BC)
Various Egyptian artifacts (trade items)
Early Iron Age artifacts from Cyprus
Trade records from Egypt and around the Mediterranean, written in simplified hieroglyphs (Hieratic script) and Akkadian
Hellenic Greek pottery (guestimating prior to 600BC)
More Hellenic Greek artifacts (including the source of the age-old question "What's a Grecian urn?")
Hellenic black figure (mid 500BC or so) and red figure (490ishBC or so) pottery
Late Hellenic red-figure pottery, along with some Hellenistic artifacts
Carthagian mosaic (though how they found anything left after the Punic Wars is anybody's guess)
For everybody who's ever thought that mummification was a bunch of bull (mummy from Ptolemeic Egypt)
Hellenistic Greek art adorning a Ptolemeic Egyptian sarcophagus
Whole buncha Roman coins
Can't get away from paperwork, no matter how far back in time you go