A Brief History of Humankind

100 000 Years of Cultural History

22 November 2016 to 26 March 2017

A Brief History of Humankind is the subtitle of the bestselling book by the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari that sets the narrative structure of the exhibition of the same title. Developed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and featuring a selection of outstanding objects from its encyclopaedic holdings, the exhibition now makes its first appearance in Europe.

«Humankind rules the world, because it is the only animal that believes in fiction.»Yuval Noah Harari

The archaeological objects from the Israel Museum recount the history of humankind from the dawn of civilization to the present. Among these objects are the remains of the first use of fire in a communal setting, the first tools used by humankind, rare evidence for the co-existence of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals, the earliest examples of the use of writing and numerals, the first coins, a photographic reproduction of the Ten Commandments, a copy of the Gutenberg bible, a replica of Edison’s lightbulb and the manuscript of Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

A particular treasure are the thirty-six sculptures of gods and goddesses from all over the world, from Neolithic stone and clay figures, ancient Egyptian deities, figures  from Greek and Roman mythology to deities from South America and sculptures from Asia and Africa. These artefacts are juxtaposed with select examples of contemporary art that link past and present. Among the artists represented are Mirosław Bałka, Bruce Conner, Mark Dion, Douglas Gordon, Aernout Mik, Adrian Paci, Paul Pfeiffer, Charles Ray, Haim Steinbach and Mark Wallinger. 

An exhibition of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, in cooperation with Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn.

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Official Audio-App

Available for free from the Apple Store or through Google Play

Conceptualisation and production of the audio guide and this app:  www.linon.de

Admission tickets

Online ticket with a public transport ticket

€10 / €6.50 (concessions), Family ticket €16

School groups enjoy free admission to the exhibition on Fridays (booking necessary)
Happy-Hour-Ticket: 7 € (available two hours before the museum closes; individual visitors only, all exhibitions.) Combined ticket for all exhibitions available. More information

Show bibliography

    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    Museumsmeile Bonn
    Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
    53113 Bonn
    T +49 228 9171–200

    Opening hours

    Mondays closed
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
    Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
    (including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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