American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History is a famous New York museum that can be justly viewed as one of the best in the world due to a huge collection of exhibits. The museum is divided into sections, or halls, according to natural history fields. Thus, each section presents exhibitions related to a specific field. The visit to the Human Origins and Cultural Halls produced a deep impression on me because the halls display a variety of exhibits that exhaustively tell visitors the story of the man’s evolution and cultural achievements.
Among the most interesting is the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins. The permanent exhibition of this hall consistently displays all the periods of human evolution combined with the DNA research. The important exhibits of the hall include “Lucy”, an incomplete skeleton of an early hominid aged 3.18 million years, and “Turkana Boy”, a skeleton of Homo erectus aged 1.7 million years. There are also skulls of Homo erectus known as Peking Man. The skulls are about 400,000 years old. I was excited to have had an opportunity to see modern humans’ early ancestors. Species are shown in their habitats, displaying the supposed abilities and behaviors. Thus, I had a fascinating excursion into the world of the ancient man and the main stages of our ancestors’ evolution.
Other memorable attractions are the Hall of Mexico and Central America and the Hall of South American Peoples. The first one exhibits items of Mesoamerican cultures dating back to the 1200s BC – 1500s. The items serve as pieces of information regarding social, religious, artistic, and political lives of these cultures. For example, the 9th-century stone carvings of the Maya people portray warrior holding weapons, suggesting that the Mayan states waged wars. In turn, the Aztec Stone of the Sun, or the Calendar Stone, depicts the Sun-related symbols, offering a clue about an important role of the Sun in the Aztec traditions. The beautiful gold carvings and objects in the hall are also the evidence of goldsmith’s art being common in ancient Mexico and Central America. As for the Hall of South American Peoples, it displays marvelous artifacts, like those of the Incas, who were skillful at metalwork, as exemplified in their silver utensils. The 500-year-old silver figurine of the Royal Llama is notable for being a rare artifact of the Inca metalwork that escaped melting down by conquistadors. In general, refined craftsmanship is a key phrase that characterizes the two halls and cultures they present.
The amazing woodwork is displayed in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians. The particularly remarkable examples of woodcarving include totem poles, decorative pipes, and ceremonial masks. Artifacts, like fishing and hunting tools, bark clothes, and carved spoons, represent the everyday life of Northwest Coast Indians. A peculiar showpiece is the long 19th-century dugout canoe representing the way of life dependent on the sea. Along with …