EAB News 2010-08-05: Visit to the British Museum
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South London Esperanto Group at the British Museum
As part of its silver jubilee celebrations, the South London Esperanto Group hosted a visit to the British Museum, where Raymond Butler gave a guided tour (in Esperanto) of selected artefacts illustrating the development of writing in ancient Egypt, along with comprehensive notes and handouts (prepared by Raymond himself). The tour started in the Egyptian galleries with ancient hieroglyphs on clay impressions, carvings and a coffin, followed by exhibits of Hieratic, Demotic and Coptic writings. It ended with a visit to the Rosetta stone, and an explanation of how the three parallel texts had allowed the meaning of the ancient hieroglyph text to be (re)discovered. Esperanto's purpose of providing international communication means that many Esperantists have a natural interest in language development; this tour captivated the participants and gave them a fascinating insight into the development of writing.
About the presenter: Raymond Butler studied Egyptology and British archaeology, qualifying in archaeology at the University of London in 1984. Professionally he is a computer programmer and, in Esperanto terms, classes himself as an "improver"; on the day he spoke fluently and with confidence, communicating specialised and technical matters with clarity and confidence.
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