Museo Nazionale di Praga
Václavské námestí 68
115 79 Prague 1
Tel: +42 (02) 2449 7111
The National Museum stands at the top of Wenceslas Square and contains extensive collections of prehistoric artefacts, mineralogy and petrology, palaeontology, zoology and anthropology.
The permanent exhibition of the Prehistory of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia is divided into two sections. One depicts the concurrent development of the varied cultures in the area and the other contains archaeological discoveries and models of fortified dwellings and ritual burials. The collection of the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology has over 200,000 specimens of minerals, rocks, gemstones, meteorites, tektites and dynamic geology, but only around 12,000 are on display.
The palaeontological collections contain specimens from the Bohemian Massif from the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cainozoic eras, as well as a section called Life During the Course of the Earth's Geological History that charts the development of the organic world. The Department of Zoology has more than 5000 creatures exhibited, including a giant sea sponge from Java, the world's largest-known butterfly and a varied collection of shells from the giant clam to the sea mollusc.
The anthropology exhibition demonstrates the methods used by anthropologists to obtain information by studying ancient human bones through osteometry (the measuring of bones) and osteomorphoscopy (description of bones). Although not all on display, the Department of Anthropology's collection is one of the largest in the world.
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