Museum of Man

The Museum of Man in San Diego is an anthropology and archaeology museum located in Balboa Park in the historic 1915 California Building. The San Diego Museum of Man offers visitors a fascinating journey through the development and progression of Man through various cultural changes and stages. There are exhibits and displays that range in content from explorations of the Maya to native Californians to ancient Egyptians. The Museum of Man holdings include over 72,000 pieces and some 37,000 historical photographs, mostly of American Indians.

The Museum of Man exhibits engaging and unique collections of historical artifacts. The collections primarily focus on pre-Colombian history of the western Americas. Emphasis is placed on the cultures of Native Americans, many of whom occupied the lands in the Southern California region where San Diego is now for generations. It is gratifying and also interesting to gain a better understanding of the role American Indians played in the pre-industrial development of the United States. The San Diego Museum of Man does a brilliant job shedding light upon the importance of the Native American people as well as objectively explicating the progression and development and ultimate decline of much of their population in light of expansion of European Americans to the West Coast.

The permanent exhibits on display at the Museum of Man are sure to excite anyone even peripherally interested in history or anthropology. Because of a rare gift that was given the San Diego Museum of Man by the Egyptian Exploration Society, the museum boasts one of the most impressive collections of ancient Egyptian art and artifacts in the entire United States. All of the artifacts are from the ancient city of Amarna, which is where the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti reigned. It is also notable that a young King Tut spent the majority of his youth here as well. The exhibit includes hieroglyphic stone carvings, pottery, and jewelry.

Footsteps Through Time: Four Million Years of Human Evolution is another one of the most popular permanent exhibits at the Museum of Man. This unbelievable exhibit features five gallery spaces and over 100 touchable replicas of early humans, primates, and futuristic cyborgs (the museum’s take on what a half-human, half-machine may look like). This particular exhibit truly does display the progression of humankind over the course of history. The popular attraction wisps visitors through a 65 million year journey through time that highlights virtually every major anthropological finding that relates to human beings and human evolution.

Another favorite among the Museum of Man exhibits is Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth. This fascinating display allows guests an intimate look at this amazing culture that was highly advanced technologically for its time. The Maya were able to do things in terms of building and calculating movements of the sun and seasons with the use of only the most primitive tools. This interactive exhibit sheds light on this most fascinating and enigmatic culture, displaying murals, artifacts, and everyday tools.

The Anthropology Museum in San Diego is a major draw in the city and lends to its reputation as a center for culture in Southern California, and more broadly, on the West Coast. The Museum of Man exhibits some of the most engaging and anthropologically prevalent displays in the United States.

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