Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre

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Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
Fachada del Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.JPG
Established 1958
Location Fuente Morales street, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain)
Collection size Mummies and various objects on the Guanche culture
Director Rafael González Antón
Website www.museosdetenerife.org
Guanche Mummy

Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (MNH), (Museum of Nature and Man in English), is a museum based in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife, (Canary Islands, Spain). It contains many significant archaeological finds and is considered the best repository of objects from the Prehispanic Canary Islands. The museum also houses significant paleontological, botanical, entomological and marine and terrestrial vertebrate collections, in an excellent state of preservation, and is considered the best Natural Library of the Canary Islands.

The museum also integrates the Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, the Bioantropología's Canary Institute and the Museum of Natural Sciences of Tenerife. The museum is located in the downtown area of Santa Cruz, in the former Civil Hospital, a building that constitutes an example of the neoclassical architecture of Canary Islands. The archaeological section was founded in 1958.

The museum holds the largest collection on the culture of the Guanche[1] and also has one of the most modern methods of presentation of mummies, (announced in 2006 by the Cabildo de Tenerife through a communique).[2] It is also an internationally renowned museum and has participated in international meetings on archeology, but its fame is mainly due to its formidable collection of Guanche mummies.[3] In 1992 the Museum of Nature and Man participated in an international research project on mummies (called PROJECT CRONOS), with a global exhibition of mummies.[4] For this reason, the Museum of Nature and Man is a world reference in regard to preservation of mummies. Foreign television companies such as the American JWM Productions (Discovery Channel) and NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai) have filmed documentaries on mummies in the museum.[5] It is also regarded as the most important museum of Macaronesia.[6]

History[edit]

Founded in 1958 with funds from the Section of Archeology and Anthropology Museum of the City of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, its first director was Luis Diego Cuscoy, who brought together a unique collection of archaeological material and human remains from the prehistory of Tenerife. During the sixties, funds were raised to add to the collections, including ethnographic and archeological materials from Africa and Pre-Columbian America. At present the museum exhibits prehistoric archaeological remains both from Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands as well as other cultures.

Permanent exhibitions[edit]

Reconstruction of Tenerife Giant Rat.
Guanche pottery.

On permanent exhibition is a gallery dedicated to the archaeology and the funeral rituals of the aboriginal world. Displayed are the museums collection of skeletal and mummified remaims of the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands, along with objects buried in the tombs of the guanche kings (Menceyes). One of the best preserved mummies is that of the Mummy of San Andrés.

The museum also exhibits a fine collection of ceramics and fossils of prehistoric animals both of Canaries and of the rest of the world, such as the giant lizard of Tenerife (Gallotia goliath), the Tenerife Giant Rat (Canariomys bravoi) and a megalodon shark tooth.

Featured Pieces[edit]

The museum features a formidable collection of mummies, ornaments, models of aboriginal settlements and pottery. The history ocvered ranges from the beginnings of the Guanche culture to the Conquest of the Canary Islands. Some of its key parts are:

  • Guanche ceramics and personal items
  • Thirteen Egyptian ceramics dated to 5700 years old, one of which is the oldest piece of this civilization in a Spanish museum.[7]

Participation in projects[edit]

The Archaeological Museum of Tenerife took part in the Great Exhibition on mummies in 2010 which was held in Granada (Spain). The exhibition feature pieces from various civilizations and geographical environments including the 8000 year old American "Chinchorro". There was also be a representation of the sarcophagi of Egypt, the arid zones of the Andes, the marshes of Denmark, the "men of the ice" (like the mummy Ötzi), which appear from time to time in the cemeteries of Spanish and Guanche mummies in the museum.[8]

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°27′50″N 16°14′58″W / 28.4639°N 16.2495°W / 28.4639; -16.2495