Armchair Travel: British Museum



They stretched their beloved lord in his boat,
laid out by the mast, amidships,
the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures
were piled upon him, and precious gear.

So reads the legend of Beowulf. Some thousand or so years after it was written, archeologists in the UK uncovered the largest and most complete Anglo-Saxon Burial Ship ever found, matching almost perfectly with the one described in the epic poem. Today, eager history buffs can see the recovered and restored helmets, weapons, and other treasures, in a special exhibit in London's British Museum.

Of course, not everyone in Idaho can just hop across the pond at a moment's notice, but thanks to Google's Cultural Institute, you can now click your way through the history and highlights without even needing to get up from your chair. Audio, video, high-res images and text let you discover the finds up close, without worrying about opening hours, queues and dealing with London taxis.

The exhibits range from recovered items of warfare—such the Sutton Hoo helmet, now an intrinsic icon of Anglo-Saxon history—to more peaceful objects like drinking horns, currency and musical instruments, giving a glimpse into how the average Saxon unwound after a hard day's looting and pillaging—at least until the Normans came along and messed it up for everyone.