Egyptian Geological Museum
|Egyptian Geological Museum
المتحف الجيولوجي المصري
The Egyptian Geological Museum is a museum in Cairo, Egypt. The museum was established in 1904 as part of the Egyptian Geological Survey, which had been started in 1896 under the direction of the Khedive Ismail. The museum was the first of its kind in the Middle East and the African continent.
The museum was initially housed in a Greco-Roman style building that was located in the gardens of the Ministry of Public Works in downtown Cairo; it was designed by Marcel Dourgnon, the French architect who had previously designed and constructed the Egyptian Museum (also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities). The Geological museum had an exhibition hall with ceilings 4 metres (13 ft) high in order to accommodate the reconstructed fossil skeletons of paleontological finds, which included a 3 metres (10 ft) high ancestral elephant. The first Museum Keeper was William Andrews, a paleontologist from London's Natural History Museum, in 1904, who was followed by Henry Osborne in 1906.
The original museum was expanded in 1968 with the construction of an annex designed to house the museum's laboratories for petrology and paleontology. The museum remained there in downtown Cairo until 1982, when the original building was torn down to accommodate construction of the Cairo Metro.
The museum was transferred to its present location near Maadi, a southern suburb of Cairo.
On display are the Fayoum vertebrates, a series of fossils that had been unearthed in 1898 by geologist Hugh Beadnell at Qasr Al-Sagha to the north of Birqet Qarun in the Fayoum desert. These artifacts were sent to the British Museum for identification and returned to be displayed at the museum. The museum also includes examples of the natural history of Egypt, and how its geology and minerals helped make Egypt a world power.
Also in the museum's collection is the Nakhalite meteorite, a Martian meteorite that fell at the village of El Nakhla El Baharia village in 1911, and is one of rare meteorites known to have their origin in the planet Mars.
One of the main museum exhibitions is the type specimens of Kamil iron meteorite, which is huge iron meteorite fell on the ground 2000–5000 years ago (3-4) to strike the sandstone bedrocks of cretaceous period, 1000 km south west the Egyptian capital Cairo. The huge kinetic energy resulted from the meteorite collision with the ground created a medium-sized crater, 45 meter diameter and 15 meter depth as a result of pushing-off the sandstone country rocks at the point of the impact. The meteorite itself exploded and disrupted into thousands of fragments ranging in size from minute grains of mm-seized up to several centimeters. Both the meteoritic fragments and the sandstone chunks are distributed around the crater in more or less regular arms extend 1-km distance from the crater center. The new Museum administration takes steps to development the services of the museum. From January 2011 the museum staff began in achieving monthly scientific report on one of the interesting museum exhibitions. Now there are comprehensive data on Jebel Kamil meteorite, which represents one of the more interesting exhibitions in the museum, as well as the Egyptian Dinosaurs, the gemstones etc. The museum organizes weekly public meeting to discuss the culture and scientific interest of definite exhibitions of public attention. During the last troubles spread in the government departments, while no visitor enter the exhibition Hall of the Museum, definite objects of historical interest including face of a Pharaonic statue made of basalt and a small Roman statue made of serpentine were disappeared. This is mystery feature for several reasons: There were no visitors to the museum at that time. This was happened at definite time corresponding the second month of coming the new director, who led immediately a comprehensive reform in the various sections of the museum since he became responsible on the museum. There were no any troubles in the museum to account for this mystery habit. The Egyptian Military recovered the objects except the small Roman Statue.
The museum opens from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm every day including the Fridays and the national holidays. Contact information: Phones ++02 25240916- ++ 02 25240916