Museums aren’t for everyone, but they’re necessary in the ongoing effort to preserve history for future generations. Museums have also progressed significantly, with many now using technology to make tours as engaging as possible. Most museums are closed due to the current coronavirus outbreak, however several offer fantastic virtual tours on their websites.
1. Piedra del Sol
The National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico’s largest museum, was founded in 1964. It pays homage to the country’s indigenous peoples with displays that feature a variety of artefacts commemorating their lives and customs.
The Preclassic Central Highlands culture, the Cultures of Oaxaca, the Mayan civilization, as well as Western and Northern cultures, are all represented in the enormous collections.
The fabled Aztec sunstone, Piedra del Sol, discovered during repairs to the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1790 is one of the most stunning antiquities on display at the museum. The stone is approximately 24 tonnes in weight, and its exact meaning and purpose are unknown.
It was carved near the end of the Mesoamerican Postclassic Period by the Mexica and has been on exhibit at the museum since its inception. The face of the solar deity Tonatiuh is thought to be shown in the stone’s centre, while the four squares that surround it are thought to represent the four preceding suns or periods, notably “Four Jaguar,” “Four Wind,” “Four Rain,” and “Four Water.”
2. The British Museum’s awe-inspiring exhibits
The British Museum, which is dedicated to human history, art, and culture, has an estimated 8 million artefacts in its collection, making it one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive museums.
It was also the world’s first public national museum. Egypt and Sudan, Greece and Rome, the Middle East, Britain, Europe, and Prehistoric Asia, as well as Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, are among the museum’s various departments, each depicting a different part of the world.
It also houses the famed round Reading Room, which has hosted visitors such as Virginia Woolf, Karl Marx, Bram Stoker, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Elgin Marbles, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Rosetta Stone, the Black Obelisk, and the Portland Vase are also on display at the British Museum. Because the museum is currently closed due to lockdowns, visitors can take a virtual tour of the ‘Arctic’ exhibit, which depicts the indigenous Arctic Peoples’ culture and the threats that global climate change brings to their homeland.
A temporary display will investigate the life and times of Rome’s insane tyrant, Nero, when the museum reopens in May 2021.
3. Deep Time
A 31,000 square foot fossil hall on the first floor of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History epitomises the subject of ‘Deep Time’ and holds one of the largest exhibitions in Washington, D.C. The adventure of the traveller here begins 4.6 billion years ago and has no defined finish. The Deep Time exhibit features life-size fossils of an American mastodon, a woolly mammoth, a huge sloth, and many others, reflecting on billions of years of science.
A total of eight interactive touchscreens in the Fossil Hall display documentaries about ancient climate change and the evolution of the human body.
There includes a Fossil Basecamp with interactive exhibits and demonstrations, as well as a Fossilab where visitors can observe how fossils are treated for museum exhibitions.
A Changing Climates portion and an Age of People Gallery are also included in the Fossil Hall, which investigate the dramatic global warming that occurred roughly 56 million years ago and the impact of humans on the current climate, respectively.
4. Museum of Ancient Near East
The Pergamon Museum was extensively destroyed during air raids over Berlin at the conclusion of WWII. Fortunately, safety precautions had been taken, and some display artefacts had been stored in secure locations, while major exhibitions had been enclosed. The loose artefacts, on the other hand, were in danger, and the Red Army confiscated them in 1945. The majority of the objects were returned to Berlin after 13 years, although some remained in Russia.
The Pergamon Museum is now a massive atrium that houses restored monuments including the Pergamon Altar and the Mshatta Façade. The Museum of the Ancient Near East, which spans 14 rooms and covers 6,000 years of Middle Eastern history, is also located here. The Ishtar Gate and the walls of Babylon’s old city can be marvelled at by visitors. Mesopotamian clay tablets and an alabaster figure are among the other objects on display.
5. Pharaonic antiquities
The Egyptian Museum, originally opened in 1901, houses over 120,000 artefacts, some of which are stored in storerooms. The museum houses the world’s biggest collection of Pharaonic antiquities. During the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, the facility was broken into, and two display mummies were stolen. A number of other items were either lost, stolen, or damaged, with only a few of them being restored.
The Gold Mask of King Tutankhamun, Ramesses III’s prisoner tiles, a statue of Hatshepsut, and other exhibits in the museum gallery provide fascinating insights into ancient Egypt. Twenty-two mummies from the museum were relocated to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat on April 3, 2021. This was accomplished with a huge parade known as The Pharoah’s Golden Parade.