When it comes to museums in Cairo, most people only know the Egyptian Museum. In reality, Cairo has numerous museums that are underrated and aren’t given any recognition despite the fact that they also display very important parts of Egyptian history and geology. One of these museums is the Egyptian Geological Museum in Cairo. This museum opened in 1904 as a part of the Egyptian Geological Survey that started in 1896 under the rule of Khedive Ismail in downtown Cairo. However, in 1982, the museum was demolished to make space for the Cairo metro station and was relocated in Maadi. It was the first geological museum in the Middle East and in Africa. The museum was designed by Marcel Dourgnon who had also designed the Egyptian Museum previously and it’s first Museum Keeper was William Andrews, a paleontologist from London.
When the museum first opened, it was famous for its 3 meter high ancestral elephant and the Fayoum vertebrates which are a series of fossils that were discovered in 1898 by geologist Hugh Beadnell in the Fayoum desert. The museum also has Nakhlite meteorite which is Martian meteorite that fell at the village of El Nakhla El Baharia village in 1911 and it is one of the very few meteorites to have its origins in Planet Mars. The museum includes a library that includes books that date back to 1778 which are open to the people and scientists as well as its own petrology and paleontology laboratories. One of the museum’s main exhibitions is the set of type specimens from the Kamil iron meteorite, a huge iron meteorite that fell 2000–5000 years ago. So the next time you are bored of your normal outings with your friends, head over to the Geological Museum to see a whole other side to Egypt’s history (other than the pharaohs)!
By: Camellia Rashad
Photo Credit: https://www.egypttoday.com/images/Uploads/2017/9/27/292670-13.jpg