National Museum of Archeology of France. A real castle, isn't it?
Nevertheless, there is one historical direction that is always somehow present in the work of any historical museum, but the main thing is only for some. This trend is archeology. We can see archaeological finds in almost every museum in our country, but they are enough, let's say, for one hall and nothing more. We also have special museums, for example, in Anapa, where archaeologists excavated ancient Gorgippia, or in Taman, where there is a small but beautifully decorated museum in the ancient city of Hermonassa, but only Athens and Cairo can boast huge collections and impressive buildings, although Many archaeological sites can be found in the British Museum and the Tokyo National Museum, which is not surprising, of course.
In spring, tulips bloom all around him.
The plan of the castle museum.
However, there is a completely unique, and purely archaeological, museum in France, moreover, in just some 19 kilometers west of Paris. This is the National Museum of Archeology, which is one of the main French museums, and its exposition covers the period from prehistoric times to the Merovingian era. It is located in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Of course, one has to go there so that everything that is displayed there can be seen with one's own eyes, because it is difficult to convey with words all the amount of information that can be obtained. But, nevertheless, if you can try, then ... why not do this and at least mostly not try to tell about it. Moreover, archeology is a subject that interests many visitors to the VO website.
To begin with, the fact that the castle of Saint-Germain was one of the most important royal residences near Paris since the XII century. After the court moved to Versailles, the castle housed a court, and then it was granted to King James II expelled from England, became a cavalry school in 1809 and finally a military prison from 1836 to 1855. By this time he was in very poor condition, and the monument of history was recognized 8 April 1863 year.
Inside the halls are impressive even by themselves.
Exposure in them to match the size of the premises.
In those years he was a real labyrinth of corridors, raised floors and temporary partitions. The castle is very dilapidated and was black with soot. Architect Eugene Millet, a student of Eugène Viollet-le-Duk, was instructed to rebuild the castle in order to transfer the National Museum of Antiquities into it, for which it was necessary first of all to dismantle all the cameras that were made there when it was used as a prison. Already in 1857, he reported that all the partitions forming the chambers had been demolished, and the castle grounds had been cleared. Construction work began in the 1862 year, and Millet set a goal to restore the castle as it was under King Francis I. The work required time and money and was completed only in the 1907 year.
The Hall of Antiquities, named after the archaeologist Edward Pietta, is a “museum in a museum”.
Showcase of ancient stone chopped.
On the left there are products made of bone, on the right - made of stone.
His first name was the Museum of Gallo-Roman Antiquities, he received in 1862 year. He then visited the “Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities”, “The Museum of National Antiquities” (1879), until in 2005, he acquired his present name: “National Archaeological Museum”.
The famous "Brassempui Venus".
It should be noted that any empire is good because it allocates a relatively large amount of funds for science and art. The Second French Empire was no exception, and its epoch coincides in time with a surge of interest in archeology in France. This is not surprising: after all, the Emperor Napoleon III himself was fascinated by history and archeology, and financed the excavations. Well, the finds found needed to be stored somewhere. Therefore, 8 March 1862, Napoleon III, and signed a decree on the creation of the Gallo-Roman museum of archaeological antiquities.
In 1864, Jean-Baptiste Werscher de Refi, who was involved in the work on the museum project, proposed to the emperor a project of a “historical museum” capable of “providing historians with accurate documents about the lives of our fathers ...”, as well as engaging the industry with ancient samples and technologies. Napoleon III liked the idea, and he personally opened the first seven rooms of the 12 museum on May 1867 of the year during the Paris World Fair.
Beginning with 1936, the museum begins to create plans to save artifacts, list the most important works and prepare for their possible evacuation, which clearly indicates the foresight of the museum staff and their practical mind. Basements with vaults of 2,70 square meters were prepared as a shelter for museum staff. Wooden boxes were prepared for the transportation of collections (it was estimated that 12 trucks had to be used to remove them, but all of them were requisitioned by the army in 1938).
Traditional Gallic helmet with headphones on which three discs are printed.
24 August 1939 received an order to close the museum, after which its collections were evacuated. From 24 June 1940, the museum was occupied by German troops, which turned the exhibition hall No. XXUMX into a conference room for the German authorities in charge of Ильle-de-France. Later, the castle suffered from bombing, but, in general, survived the occupation quite successfully, and already 1 August 26, the French flag was hoisted over one of its towers. The collections were repatriated up to March 1944 of 15, but 1946 of October 2 of the year was opened to visit the museum.
The original Gallic helmet with swastikas.
"Helmet with swastikas" close-up.
By 1961, the museum exposition was recognized as obsolete and its reconstruction began. The number of rooms has been reduced to 19, the number of exhibits has decreased to ... 30 000. The new 25 museum in March 1965 was visited by Charles de Gaulle, and on 9 on April 1965, it was opened to visitors. The facades of the courtyard were renovated from 1998 to 2000 year, the rooms of the first floor (from Paleolithic to the Iron Age) were restored from 1999 to 2006 year. In total, the museum contains about 3 millions of archaeological objects, of which about 30 000 exhibited, making it one of the richest museums in Europe. These are, first of all, the finds made on the territory of France and represented by the following chronological periods: Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman period (Roman Gaul) and the early Middle Ages (Merovingovskaya Gaul). The comparative archaeological hall contains collections of foreign archaeological and ethnological objects. The museum represents the evolution of the genus homo starting with the skulls of homo erectus and Neanderthal.
But for some reason, the Gauls did not decorate this helmet ...
Simple Gallic helmets riveted from two halves, 1150-950 BC
Among the most famous objects of the Paleolithic collections of the museum - Venus Brassempuyskaya, found by Edouard Pietta in the Pyrenees. In his honor, 10 000 finds are exhibited in a separate room of his name. This room was re-restored and opened in 2008, in order to demonstrate the original museology of the XIX (museum in the museum!), So that it is necessary to consider not only the finds themselves, but also how they are exhibited there, or rather exhibited in the already distant from us time.
Gallic Breastplates (around 950 BC and before 780 BC).
The Neolithic (around 5800 to 2100 BC) was the second period of prehistory, the artifacts of which are presented in the museum. The population becomes settled, agriculture and cattle breeding arise, people create the first artificial materials - fabric and ceramics. For the first time an international exchange is being formed.
Bronze swords of Koban culture of the Caucasus.
The blade of the Roman dagger pugio.
In the Bronze Age (around 2100-750 BC), the society is still very similar to the Neolithic society, but the technical advances presented by the bronze metallurgy are changing the society, which is becoming more and more hierarchical.
Spines against cavalry. It was used by the Romans and ... Gauls against the Romans. They were clogged in a wooden block that was buried in the ground. This kind of spines was considered economical. weapons.
But such spikes or “garlic”, as they were called in Russia, were scattered, so a lot of them were needed and it was difficult to collect them later.
Roman kaliga - legionary sandal.
The first Iron Age (terminology adopted in France) dates back to the 780-480 era. BC, and corresponds to the culture of Hallstatt, a period characterized by the burial of the privileged part of the population in the barrows.
The roman rider - a statuette of bronze. And someone, however, still believes that horses got to Europe only after the 1492 year?
And this is a gladiator. That is, gladiator fights were also fond of Gaul. The conquered Gauls did not want to yield to the Romans.
The Second Iron Age (480 BC - the beginning of our era) is marked by the growth of the militarization of society, which takes place from the fifth century BC to the second century AD. Gauls surpass other peoples of Europe in ceramics, dishes, metallurgy (bronze and iron).
The Golden Hat is a unique type of cone-shaped product made of bronze and gold, characteristic only of the proto-Celtic culture of the fields of burial urns. Currently, there are only four such items, dating from the period from 1400 to 800 BC. er Three were found in Germany, the fourth - in 1844, far to the west - in the town of Avanton near Poitiers.
The collections of the museum show the life of the Gauls before being conquered by the Romans. The collection of Celtic art museum is one of the richest in the world.
Roman Gaul (from 52 BC to the end of the 5th century AD) was the result of the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar. Gaul was forcibly integrated into the Roman Empire, but benefited it. The growth of cities and the construction of public buildings began, a road network was created throughout Gaul, which has been preserved (including bridges!) And today.
Beautiful Roman mosaics.
In the six rooms of the Gallo-Roman department there are artifacts of religious content (gods, the world of the dead), the presence of the Roman army in Gaul, various types of handicrafts and household items (related to the preparation and use of food, clothing, ornament, transport, writing ...).
Completely tasteless helmet of the era of the sunset of the Empire.
The era of the Merovingians (from 5 to 6 century AD) is also reflected in the museum exhibition. From this period, numerous items decorated with garnets, items decorated with cloisonne enamel, as well as buckles from belts inlaid with silver or brass wire, have come down to us.
Here they are - buckles, which can be said: "barbaric splendor."
And this buckle is decorated with cloisonne enamel.
Because the remains of the past are silent, the archeologist sometimes attracts other humanitarian sciences, such as ethnology or sociology, to help them interpret these traces more confidently.
Umbon shield francs.
It was in this spirit that the comparative archeology of the five continents, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Henri Hubert and Marcel Mous conceived of an exposition that was supposed to illustrate the ethnographic history of Europe and humanity from the origins of man to the Middle Ages. This comparative approach was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries, and although some of the comparisons could not be seriously criticized, it turned out that it is quite applicable today. In addition, he allowed to go beyond the borders of French territory only and draw broad historical parallels.
The famous francisco francs.
In the National Archaeological Museum, this approach led to two “axes” in the exhibition. The technical achievements of a person from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages are demonstrated on one axis of the room: stone processing, terracotta, metallurgy. The transverse axes represent the geographical division: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, America and Oceania. This approach allows us to show the similarities and differences in the evolution of cultures in different regions of the world. The visitor consistently meets the Paleolithic and Neolithic culture of Africa (Maghreb, South Africa, Ethiopia, Benin, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Zaire, etc.), then proceeds to the birth of civilizations of the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East (Egypt, ancient Susa , Bulgarian Thrace). Then he can compare the development and technical skills of bronze and iron metallurgists in the Caucasus and in Europe (objects from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Azerbaijan, North Ossetia, etc.). Taken from different continents, and sometimes at different times, the exhibits show a similar state of development (the transition from the hunter-gatherer to the manufacturer), or, conversely, very different forms or products (for example, there is a comparison of products from Asia and America, the findings from China, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Greenland, North America, etc.).
Most of the collection came here in the First World War. The first contribution was the Scandinavian collection, proposed in 1862 by Frederick VII from Denmark. Other large collections came from the Caucasus, from the excavations at Susa (modern Iran) and in Egypt.
Another "barbaric" pin made of gold and rubies.
And these are traces of trade with Byzantium - the coin of Emperor Justinian.
Since 2014, the ethnographic collections of Pacific origin from Papua New Guinea have come back to the room.
The comparative room of archeology is located in the old ballroom of the castle, it is also called the “room of Mars”.
So, if you will be in Paris, then ... do not be lazy and wrap more and here, in Saint-Germain. Believe the word - no need to regret!