ethiopian national museum

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Amran Ethiopia Tour and Travel


  • Ethiopian


    al Museum

    Youre Map

    Your move after reaching the Bole International Airport could possibly be the National

    Museum of Ethiopia. Driving from Bole and passing by Stadium, then taking the wide

    boulevard you will reach the circle of Aratkilo. Taking King George Street, next to the

    Aratkilo circle in the Northern direction is the Natural Science Campus. A few meters

    away in that same direction to the left of the street in Amistkilo district is Saint Marys

    Church and near the church is the National Museum of Ethiopia.


    Background of the Museum

    The first museum in Ethiopia was opened in 1936 being part of the national library. A

    few presents from the royal family were set to the exhibition. The establishment of the

    Institute of Archaeology in 1946 has contributed a lot for the development of the

    museum. French archaeologists had a great role in the finding of very important

    historical and cultural artifacts. The museum was transferred to the lounge of todays

    National Bank of Ethiopia. A step at a time the museum finally was located in where it is


    The archaeology museum that was established in 1946 had started its work by exhibiting

    some archaeological findings from the Northern part of the country. Following these

    events in 1958 the idea of establishing a national museum had been given a serious

    attention by the government. Therefore, the national museum started its work in public

    that same year.

    The museum houses the nations artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious

    archaeological findings such as the fossilized remain of early hominids, the most famous

    of which is Lucy.

    The Compound of the Museum

    The compound of the museum is spacious. Many sculpts that give grace to the setting are erected here and

    there. On the gates check point are few uniformed federal police to check you through. A few meters away

    to the right side of the museum under the veranda of one of the old buildings is one of the first automobiles

    which entered Ethiopia during the reign of Emperor Menelik. This vehicle is of a very attractive and

    interesting model. For those who have never had any encounter with such pleasing things of the past this

    will be the best break.

  • Well you must understand you could not get such automobile for

    any great amount of dollars you would be happy to pay unless of

    course if not in millions.

    Right in front of the gate of the museums hall is the cannon used by Emperor Menelik at the battle of Adwa in 1896. The cannon witness that tragic war against the Fascist Italian. Even for anyone without the knowledge of the Battle of Adwa the cannon can give the dj vu of having been to the battle fields.

    Carvings and monuments

    In the museum are so many carvings of wood,

    stone, bronze, copper, cement and sand and

    many others materials. Numerous sand and

    cement monuments and carvings feed your eyes a

    beauty of living arts. Getting closer to them and

    looking in to their magnificence is all you need to


    There are many more inside the museum but the

    dark rooms were not able to provide enough light

    for our cameras and we were not able to use

    flashlight for it is forbidden.

    Cafes and restaurants

    Ardi caf and restaurant named after the recently found

    bone in Afar region by archaeologists and Lucy caf and

    restaurant named after Lucy or Dinkinesh are the two main

    places that you can have your meal when you start to feel a

    little hungry while you are inside the compound.

  • Enterin

    g the Museum

    Currently, the National Museum of Ethiopia has four main exhibition sections. The basement is

    dedicated to archaeological and paleo anthropological sections. This area shows the previously

    mentioned hominids. The first floor contains objects from ancient and medieval periods, as well as

    ceremonial objects and souvenirs from former rulers, including Emperor Haile Selassie. The second

    floor shows art work in a chronological order, from traditional to contemporary works. These

    include murals, Afework Teklie and other Ethiopian artists. Finally, the third floor has an

    ethnographic display. Here, the museum gives an overview of the cultural richness and variety of

    the peoples of Ethiopia.

    Palaeo anthropology and pre-history artifacts collection room The Thron

    e of Haile Selassie I (19


    This throne is much closer to the word residence that throne because of

    its gigantic structure. The throne is made of Cordia African Wanza (species

    of wood) and Ivory. It was presented to the Emperor by the Indian

    Community in Harar in 1985 and was looted by the Italian Fascist troops

    during the WWII returned in 1972. Standing by this throne you will

    certainly start wondering how it would feel to sit on it and feel the power

    of being an Emperor.

  • Paleon


    Bones that bounce your mind back to your own forefathers

    In the National Museum of Ethiopia, the paleontological collections are

    strongly gifted of taking your imagination and thought back to millions of

    years ago. These collections give you the means to understand what had

    happened in earth some million years ago and what is going on today; what

    is going to happen tomorrow and how serious the climate change of your

    planet is getting.

    The museum houses the nation's artistic treasures as well as many of the

    most precious archaeological findings such as the fossilized remains of early

    hominids, the most famous of which is "Lucy," the partial skeleton of a

    specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. Recently added to the basement

    gallery is a display on Selam, found between 2000 and 2004. Estimated to be

    3.3 million years old, this afarensis specimen is considered to be the earliest


    Lucy: Dinkinesh

    To the right corner of the pale anthropological collections exhibition rooms

    awaits you the warm greeting of Lucy. She says to you, Hi I am Lucy and

    then invites you to get to know with her world-famous ancestors.

    This skeleton is the most complete human ancestor yet discovered in 1974

    by Donald C. Johnson. This adult female skeleton was nicknamed Lucy after

    the popular Beatles song Lucy in the sky with diamond But the Ethiopians

    prefer to call her, Dinkinesh to mean wonderful. She is 3.2 million years

    old. Her brain was no longer than chimpanzees but she walked on two legs

    a character placing her in the family tree of man. She was of a small stature

    standing 3.5 feet tall. Her scientific name is Australopithecus Afarensis.

    Unfortunately, the "real" Lucy can't be seen in Addis Ababa. Because of the

    rare and fragile nature of fossils, including Lucy's skeleton, molds are usually

    made of the originals, which are then used to create detailed copies (casts).

    These detailed copies are then used for teaching, research, and exhibits in

    institutions around the world. This is what has been done with Lucy.

    The "real" Lucy is stored in a specially constructed safe in the

    Paleoanthropologist Laboratories of the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis

    Ababa. On display in the museum is one of the casts of the original skeleton.

    Visitors to the Ethiopian National Museum in Addis Ababa can see a replica

    skeleton laid out by itself in pieces, showing the 40 percent that was


    Also on display is a fascinating reconstructed full skeleton of Lucy that shows

    her height and stance. When she was alive, Lucy would have been about 3-

    1/2 feet tall and weighed about 60 to 65 pounds.


  • This model of Selam is created by an artist based on her skeleton. Selam in

    many Ethiopian languages means peace. She represents the earliest and most

    complete skeleton of a child human ancestor ever discussed in the history of

    palaeoanthropology. She was about 3 years old when she died and belongs to

    the ancient species of Australopithecus Afarnesis. Her archaeological age is

    3.3 million years. And she was found in Dikika, Ethiopia. The discovery has

    taken a time interval from 2000-to-2004.

    Traditional and contemporary Ethiopian art.




    This amazing painting is placed on the 3rd exhibition room. World Laureate

    Meter Artist AfeworkTekle is the painter of this great painting. For men of

    artistic interest it will fix them on the very ground they stand for many

    moments as it is complex in idea and attractive in appearance. It was

    painted in 1969 with oil on canvas.

    The Battle of Adwa

    This one also is painted on canvas in the year 2003. Though young in age it

    is quite powerful to retell and reflect the old. A black man (Emperor

    Menelik?) sitting on the back of a galloping horse again will give the dj

    vu of being in the battlegrounds of Adwa.

    The Skull

    The Skull, a painting by the same person, is quite amazing and terrifying

    for the dark eye sockets stare at you wherever you stand. They follow you

    and look in to your eyes with their dark and cold beauty. Such

    magnificence, we dare to pronounce, has never been depicted deep in the

    heart of death with such a mind-boggling art.

  • The Great Painting of Saint Mercury


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