Musée de l’Homme (Museum of Mankind)

Open every day, except Tuesdays

We are a unique species which is conscious of itself and of the world around it... to the point where we have created a museum that has us as its subject! Head to the Trocadéro, to find out more about Mankind and about yourself!

Let's go on a journey to the heart of the human adventure in a 2,500 m2 space opening onto the Seine, with a view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Here are housed prestigious collections of prehistory, biological and cultural anthropology. No less than 1,800 objects are on display in the Galerie de l'Homme, the permanent exhibition of the Musée de l’Homme. Here you will find answers to the questions that perplex us all...

Who are we?

A complicated question! The first part of the Gallery explores what makes us stand out from but also what brings us closer to millions of other species. Visitors will discover that Humanity stands out not so much through its anatomy but more through the fact that it is conscious of itself and of the world, just as it is aware of time and death. To grasp the unity of humanity is to understand that each individual belongs to a group that forms them and affects them socially. The result is a diversity of cultures, societies and beings. See, for example, these clothes, tattoos, piercings or old practices intended to mark a social rank. Before your eyes, objects illustrate the plurality of representations of the world, from Africa to Oceania, via Europe, Asia or even America. Among the links that unite people, speech has a special place. Have fun listening to different languages. There are 7,000 languages, but only 6 groups cover 75% of the world population. The “envolée des bustes” installation showcases two 19th century collections, one in plaster for scientific purposes, the other in bronze for artistic purposes. With this installation you can see the unity of Homo sapiens: they share 99.9% of their genetic heritage and a common evolutionary history.

Dispositif sensoriel dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Vitrine des cires anatomiques - Musée de l'Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Musée de l'Homme, vue extérieure, Parvis des Droits de l'Homme et Tour Eiffel

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Mur des langues dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l'Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Mur des langues dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l'Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Envolée des bustes dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Envolée des bustes dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Vénus de Lespugue - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Where do we come from?

The visit continues on the ground floor and then extends onto the mezzanine. Travel back in time: archaeology, palaeoanthropology, genetics and history of science take you back to our distant past. Where did humanity come from and why is our species, Homo sapiens, the only human lineage to have survived on Earth? We are the result of constant adaptations and numerous technical innovations, as well as rich and fertile artistic creation. The idea of a linear evolution of man, from the ape who stood upright to us, has been besieged. It all began with a blossoming of human lineages. The oldest known to date, thanks to Toumaï, discovered in Chad, dates back 7 million years. Continue with Lucy, discovered in 1974, also in Africa, and go forward in time to the appearance of Homo sapiens, who would have lived alongside Homo neanderthalensis for more than 150,000 years. You can see fossils from both lines. "Cro-Magnon I - an old man! -, and a female Homo sapiens. And don't miss the Chapelle-aux-Saints man, a Neanderthal, right next door.

Crâne de la Dame de Cavillon, orné de coquillages - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech
La Vénus de Lespugue au Musée de l'Homme

La Vénus de Lespugue dans la Galerie de l'Homme - Musée de l'Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech
Jeune visiteur devant le car rapide sénégalais

Jeune visiteur devant le car rapide sénégalais dans la Galerie de l'Homme.

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Momie péruvienne, Culture Chachapoya - IXe - XVe siècle - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Car sénégalais dans la Galerie de l’Homme - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech

Where are we going?

The last part of the tour questions our future and today's globalised and increasingly artificial world. This is a time to wonder about the challenges facing our society, the space left to cultural diversity and the limited resources of our planet. Since 1950, everything has accelerated! You may come across our researchers, as ethnologists, ethnobiologists, ethnomusicologists, primatologists, geneticists, palaeoanthropologists and prehistorians are working together on a daily basis within our walls: a fertile interdisciplinary approach to assessing the ability of our species to imagine future scenarios. As Paul Rivet wished, le Musée de l’Homme is a "Museum-Laboratory". We share knowledge and make it progress! Be boundlessly curious, just like we are.

Vitrine « Le corps humain entre nature et culture » - Musée de l’Homme

© MNHN - J.-C. Domenech
How to find us

17 Place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris

contact.mdh@mnhn.fr

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