This week, my friends and I decided to visit The Manchester Museum. Owned by the University of Manchester, the museum is located on Oxford Road next to the Rutherford Building and features a plethora of exhibitions, ranging from dinosaurs and live animals to materials of both the natural realm and forgotten cultures from around the world.
Many of the archaeological finds include items that would have actually have been used hundreds of years ago, such as money, archery equipment, and weapons. The new ‘Ancient Worlds’ exhibitions highlight the ancient civilisations that existed in Egypt, Greece and Rome.
These three different exhibitions display a number of the University’s discoveries and explain key questions about their history, such as who lost them, when they were made, and the person who re-found them. There is a focus on exploration and discovery, as the audience is encouraged to actively engage with the collections through the implementation of audio-visual equipment and the friendly staff members that can be located on every floor.
The three galleries are arranged with the objective of informing guests on different aspects of archaeological research; the first gallery focuses on the relationship that the past has on the modern day world, and how we are affected, even today, by ancient events; the second allows the visitors to travel through landscapes and the practices of ancient civilisations; and the third expresses the wealth and value of the university’s findings, giving a much deeper look into happenings that occurred thousands of years ago.
If mummies and swords aren’t your thing, take a look at ‘Breed: The British and their Dogs,’ which looks at the link between hounds and the inhabitants of Britain. Here, the beginnings of pedigree breeding are given, and the roles that dogs have played throughout history, such as the use of bloodhounds to try and help track down Jack the Ripper, are outlined and expanded upon.
Aside from the actual exhibitions, there are an assortment of eateries and souvenir shops within the building that offer gifts that are unique and fair-trade, ranging from native African tribal trinkets to Egyptian fossils. The museum is completely free to enter and view; the profits that are made in the shops are reinvested back into the building, helping to offset their running costs.
In all, the museum is definitely worth a visit. I would strongly advise checking it out if you are coming to the university for an open day in the next few weeks, or if you are in the Manchester area. There is a wealth of different activities to engage in, which makes for an incredibly pleasant and informative day out.
More information about the shop, its wears that are available for purchase and the museum’s exhibitions in general can be found on:
The museum’s opening times are: