The extensive history of Peru couldn’t be represented in a better way than how it is displayed in the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru. Yes, we are aware this is a long name for a museum, but it does honors everything it comprehends.
For those history lovers looking to get immersed in the pre-Hispanic cultural history of Peru, this is one of the many ways to start. The renowned museum in Lima holds over 300,000 pieces that represent the human occupation of our country.
However, that’s not all it offers since the collection includes history and artifacts from the colonial and republican periods to its extensive exhibition.
The Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Antropología e Historia del Perú is the first state-owned museum in Lima, Peru. The site covers an extension of over 20,000 m2 and the exhibition is divided into 20 rooms, each from a different era.
Likewise, the museum’s headquarters lies in a significant colonial structure called “Liberators’ Mansion,” which housed some important icons of the republican history, like Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín.
The overall experience in this famous museum of Peru will take you on a back in time journey that you’ll certainly enjoy at its fullest. Continue reading and start planning your trip across the enigmatic Peruvian lands.
Long before the museum was born, its collection was established in several places until it finally found home in the Main Palace of the International Exposition of Lima in 1872.
The first collection was acquired thanks to archeological excavations, donations and the purchase of various pre-Columbian elements.
However, during the Pacific War the site was sacked by the Chilean troops and the museum was closed since it didn’t have enough pieces to exhibit. Luckily, one of the most precious pre-Inca objects was preserved, the Raimondi Stele.
For those who may not know, the Raimondi Stele was a sacred monolith to the Chavin culture, which has a height of seven feet and is entirely made of highly polished granite with a lightly incised design that represented the Staff God.
Continuing with the history of the museum, the remaining collection passed through different managements, but always within the state’s observation. In 1911, the museum counted with over 9,000 archeological pieces.
The collection grew significantly over the years though it was robbed again in 1981. This time, about 220 gold and silver pieces were stolen along with an important Tumi belonging to the Lambayeque culture.
Finally in 1992, the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru was born and it’s currently administered by the National Institute of Culture.
1. Textile Gallery
This is the world’s second most important textile collection since it holds over 32,000 items belonging to almost every pre-Inca culture.
2. Ceramic Gallery
The collection includes pieces found by Max Uhle, Victor Larco Herrera and Julio C. Tello, some others were acquired from archeological excavations, donations and legal seizures as aforementioned. The ceramic exhibition showcases over 65,000 pieces from several Andean and Coastal cultures.
3. Lithic Gallery
Currently, the gallery holds almost 20,000 archaeological pieces from different areas and periods of the country’s cultural development. Some of them were traced back to 12,000 B.C. where evidence of hunting activities were found, as well as religious objects.
4. Metal Gallery
The exhibition has about 11,000 pre-Columbian artifacts made entirely of gold, silver and copper. They represent the metallurgical development of the native cultures that predated the Incas.
5. Organic Gallery
The gallery exhibits a collection composed of 12,000 pieces made of organic materials that seemed to have served as agricultural tools, vessels, musical instruments and more.
6. History Gallery
This exhibition looks to portray the cultural heritage of the Republican times, where sculptures, paintings and decorative art are showcased.
7. Human Remains Gallery
Around 15,500 funeral bundles, complete skeletons, skulls and other human remains were found, and are believed to belong between the 1000 B.C. to 1500 A.D. Some of these findings were traced back to the Paracas, Nazca, Ancon, Kuelap cultures, among others.
For those looking to experience the Peruvian history from up close, the National Museum of Archeology in Lima is the way to go. As we mentioned before, it is located in the Pueblo Libre district, a not-so-touristy area of the Lima city.
However, If you wish to visit this museum, we highly recommend you taking a tour with a specialist that can teach you everything about what you’re going to see here since only a few of the exhibitions are translated in English, which could be difficult if you don’t speak Spanish.
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- Address: Plaza Bolívar, Pueblo Libre, Lima.
- Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday - From 08:45h to 17:00h.
- Entrance Fee: S/. 10.00