Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford University Museum of Natural History

22 December 2012

The plan for the day is to spend some time at the Pitt Rivers Museum and University Museum of Natural History in Oxford before taking the car to explore the eastern part of the Cotswold. We would end the day at Stratford Upon Avon.

So after breakfast and checking out from the Red Mullion B&B, it was a few minutes drive to the museum. The two museums are free of charge to visit and are practically linked. We entered via the University of Natural History. More stuffed animals and fossils of dinosaurs. Interesting nevertheless.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Dodo bird – hunted to extinction because it cannot fly and is practically defendless.

 

Oxford University Museum of Natural History  Oxford University Museum of Natural History
T-rex skull and head  
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Exhibit in the geology section – meteorites

We entered the Pitt Rivers Museum from the Natural History Museum. This museum which focused on anthropology and world archaeology is unlike any museum I have been before. The items on displayed came from all over the world and is a massive collection displayed on showcases on 3 levels.

Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford

Overview of Pitt River museum. Giant totem pole at the back

The objects displayed are grouped accordingly to how they were made or used. We just combed through the rows and rows of display to view the items on display. Some of the more fascinating objects displayed on the ground floor are the shrunken heads under the “Treatment of the Dead” display.

Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford
Skulls or heads kept as war trophies – reminds of the movie Predators
Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford
Real shrunken heads or Tsantsas from the Amazon region.

 

Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford
This ivory ball(s) looks like one I saw at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Each ball is a detached layer carved within another. Extreme craftsmanship.

 

The upper gallery has interesting collection of shields, armour, spears, swords and also firearms. Some exhibits were simply amazing and have to be seen to be believed.

Pitt Rivers Museum Oxford
Spiky war helmet made from a spiny fish. Dried dish skin used as armour

We spent about 1 hour and a half at the two museums before leaving Oxford to explore the Cotswold. Our next stop would be Bourton-on-the-Water.

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