In more than 100 years of the museum’s history, the Archaeological Museum Hamburg has evolved from the historical museum of the town of Harburg to the archaeological state museum of Hamburg. Today it is one of the most important archaeological museums in Northern Germany. The permanent exhibition covers two main subjects: the archaeology of Northern Germany and the history of Harburg.
A playful way to discover archaeology
In the permanent exhibition the visitor becomes an explorer. You can interactively discover the world of archaeology. More than 1,300 square meters of exhibition space are dedicated to an exciting journey through time. It focuses on questions that mankind has always dealt with: Where do we come from? Where are we developing? The answers are not found in old showcases, but in the cultural history of people that can be explored by touching and experimenting.
Since 2009, the Archaeological Museum Hamburg presents its archaeological exhibitions in a special concept: A family-friendly adventure museum was created in a unique nationwide cooperation between the state museum and Ravensburger Freizeit- und Promotion-Service GmbH, a leading expert for games and adventure sceneries.
A bridge between present and past
In contrast to traditional exhibitions, which are ordered strictly chronological from the history of Earth to modern times, the exhibition of the Arcaheological Museum is divided into six thematic areas. The archaeology of the metropolitan area of Hamburg serves as an example of the cultural development of Northern Europe. The legacies of mankind discovered here guide the visitor through the millennia. Cutting across time, the topics “Food”, “Violence”, “Death”, “Innovation”, “Raw Materials” and “Mobility” are explored throughout your journey. By this approach, archaeology creates a bridge between present and past.
25,000 ice moulds
The themes are presented on two floors, with large accessible viewing windows creating an optical connection between the ground floor and the upper floor. The tour starts on the ground floor with a glacier covered by 25,000 ice moulds that reach the ceiling. The visitor has to cross the ice in order to enter the landscape left behind by the glacier. A large part of the exhibits and accessible showcases are located on the ground level. This way the visitors become archaeologists in the landscape of stone and pebbles, explore the exhibition actively, and leave the fortified path to discover and glean.
With the subway to Hamburg’s archaeological treasures
The largest area on the upper floor is occupied by the “Hamburg archaeological” installation. It is a suburban Hamburg traffic plan that is more than 200 square meters that shows the archaeological finds in the different districts of Hamburg.
At the end of the tour a large walk-in discovery box offers visitors a glimpse behind the scenes of the museum with the themes “field monument preservation” and “museum stories”.
The ArchaeoLOGICUM: Room for museum educational service
On the ground floor, an area with approximately 290 square meters accommodates three specially equipped rooms at the disposal of visitor groups, school classes and birthday parties. A room completely converted into a cave invites you to immerse yourself in the mysterious world of caves. The museum visitors themselves have designed the cave walls.
“Archaeology” children’s playground
Next to the museum there is an “Archaeology” children’s playground. There is a real fire site as well as an archaeological site with excavation area and – as a special attraction – a large wooden mammoth for climbing and sliding. The museum incorporates the playground into its educational activities and has special outdoor activities and events (particularly during the holidays).
The Harburg Kulturtag (“culture day”) in the autumn of each year has become an integral part of the lively art and culture scene in Hamburg. This year it takes place for the 16th time. On Sunday, the 3rd of November, from 12.00 to 20.00 all important cultural institutions from Harburg present themselves here.
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