News Marvelling at Marble: Year 10 Classicists Visit the British Museum 22.06.2023

On Tuesday Year 10 classicists visited the British Museum to see the Parthenon sculptures and the frieze from the Temple of Apollo at Bassae.  The students had studied both temples in detail in class but this was an excellent opportunity to see them in the actual marble.

Students started with the Parthenon gallery, carefully examining the pediments, Ionic frieze and the metopes of the temple. They worked in small groups and each group created a short presentation on an element of the sculptures which they will be sharing in future lessons. Although they had studied these sculptures in depth, seeing them in person was really eye opening as they were able to appreciate their scale and astonishing details – such as the flaring nostril of the horse of Helios or the veins on the stomach of a centaur.  Some followed in the footsteps of the Panathenaic procession around the gallery, from the cavalry to the famous peplos scene.  They then viewed the sculptures of the Temple of Apollo – this intimate gallery gave a powerful impression of relentless conflict.   

Finally, students set off in search of the Theseus kylix, which proved to be elusive. However, they were rewarded with Panathenaic amphorae and it was wonderful to appreciate their size and what a great prize they would have been.  A thoroughly educational and enjoyable afternoon was had by all.