Sunday, February 9, 2014

Neanderthal Museum Trip

Last weekend, we took a day trip to the Neanderthal Museum. It's a little bit outside Dusseldorf, so not too long of a train ride, plus there is a train that leaves from the station right by our house. It was a bit of a rainy day, but not too bad. From the train station, you have to walk down this kind of windy hill to get to the museum. Hunter and I were observing that in America, no one would ever expect you to do that. Anyway, I actually didn't know Neanderthals were discovered in Germany until I was watching an episode of Futurama. They showed on the map where they were found and I was like, "That's close to where we live!"

Anyway, the museum also had a special exhibit about mummies and Egyptian things. We again experienced the German reliance on the "honor system." Basically, you had to pay extra to see the mummy thing, but the only thing keeping you from just walking into it was a sign that said not to. Germans. Anyway, it was pretty cool. There were two mummies, an adult and a one-year old. There were also some other artifacts. Pretty amazing how the artwork is so well preserved and keeps its color even after thousands of years. I guess they thought the stuff was going to need to stay with them forever so they made it tough.

The Neanderthal portion of the museum was also interesting. There were exhibits about their discovery, physiology, and culture. I think something Hunter and I both would have appreciated was more information about the methodology used in coming to the conclusions they did. There really aren't that many bone fragments, but they assert a lot of things about what Neanderthal culture was like. These are obviously conclusions drawn from study, I just wish they talked more about what specifically led them there. That probably isn't interesting to most people, though. All of the signs are in both German and English, so that was pretty useful.

By the time we got back, we were pretty tired. We decided that next time we do a trip, even if it isn't too far away, we may just get a hotel and make a weekend of it, because travelling with a baby is kind of a big production. There is a museum nearby I want to go to with an exhibit on Nazi fashion, so hopefully I'll be able to post about that soon!

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