Neanderthal exhibition opens at the Canadian Museum of History in a North American exclusive

May 16, 2019


For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, May 16, 2019 — Opening tomorrow at the Canadian Museum in History, Neanderthal is a major exhibition created by the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle – Musée de l’Homme in France and adapted by the Canadian Museum of History. Featuring remarkable fossils and artifacts rarely displayed outside Europe, the Museum of History is the exhibition’s only North American venue.

“The Canadian Museum of History is proud to be partnering for the first time with the Musée de l’Homme in Paris on this outstanding exhibition,” said Jean-Marc Blais, Director General of the Canadian Museum of History. “Our Museum explores human history down through the millennia, and this is an exciting chapter in our shared story.”

The exhibition features more than 150 artifacts, including actual scientific specimens rarely placed on public display. Notable objects include four Neanderthal skulls, a very rare complete fossilized skeleton, a remarkable hand axe made of rock crystal, and a lifelike reconstruction of a Neanderthal woman in modern clothing. The exhibition also boasts a Canadian connection, showcasing objects linked to Neanderthals from the Ami Collection, a portion of which is housed at the Canadian Museum of History. The Ami collection comprises thousands of prehistorical artifacts and specimens collected under the supervision of Dr. Henri-Marc Ami, a leading Canadian paleontologist who founded the Canadian School of Prehistory in France in 1925. He also worked for twenty years at the Geological Survey of Canada, the ancestor of the Canadian Museum of History.

Featuring the latest scientific evidence based on recent archaeological excavations, the exhibition offers an updated perspective on Neanderthals, presenting a more accurate portrait of our human cousins. The Museum has adapted the exhibition to Canadian audiences, adding compelling new text, artifacts and design elements.

Neanderthals lived successfully across Europe and Asia for nearly 300,000 years, until their mysterious disappearance around 30,000 years ago. Long stereotyped as club-bearing, knuckle-dragging cave dwellers, in reality they used complex thought, and were skilled technicians and artisans. They were also great hunters who had mastered the use of fire and buried their dead. As the exhibition reveals, Neanderthals were ultimately much more like us than previously believed.

Neanderthal will be on view at the Canadian Museum of History from May 17, 2019 to January 26, 2020.

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian Museum of History attracts over 1.2 million visitors each year. The Museum’s principal role is to enhance Canadians’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the events, experiences, people and objects that have shaped Canada’s history and identity, as well as to enhance Canadians’ awareness of world history and culture. Work of the Canadian Museum of History is made possible in part through financial support of the Government of Canada.


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