The exhibition opening on 1 April 2017 at the National Museum of Finland presents the prehistory of Finland. The exhibition is the most extensive and comprehensive presentation of the lives and origin of Finns from the Stone Age to the end of the Iron Age, and its content focuses on the questions of being human in the Nordic frame of reference. The most important archaeological finds in Finland combined with digital media, a soundscape and objects that can be touched and handled all build bridges from one time to another.
The themes of the exhibition include origins, movement, worldview, identity, encounters and materialism. Topics are approached from the point of view of being human, identifying with things and alternative interpretations. The latest archaeological research data is presented in addition to conflicting, disputed or otherwise open issues. Beyond the archaeological research data, perspectives into the world of beliefs of prehistoric humans are opened. The script for the exhibition has been written by Professor Vesa-Pekka Herva and Docent Antti Lahelma.
“What fascinates me about archaeology and the study of the past is how beliefs and concepts of the worldview have originated several millennia in the past, and how they are still alive in us in a way, affecting our lives and ways of thinking.” (Professor Vesa-Pekka Herva, University of Oulu)
Approximately 750 objects from the archaeological collections of the National Board of Antiquities are on display. As physical objects, the world’s oldest fishing net, a Merovingian Period water burial, Iron Age swords, artefacts with animal motifs, silver treasures and other artefacts discovered in the soil tell a story about how people acted and survived in Northern conditions. Materialism finds a new dimension in the exhibition, and it is discussed widely by digital methods and the means of multimedia. “What remains of us, and what is lost?” This is a fundamental question in archaeological research. An experiential approach that reaches beyond pure information leads the visitor to the imaginable realities of prehistoric times.
The exhibition has been designed by Tuomas Siitonen Office and Fantomatico Ltd, who won the design competition held in the spring of 2016 with their proposal Selviytyjät (Survivors).
“The exhibition has been designed to suit the space and emphasise its characteristic features. The aim of the media solutions has been to open up the objects and phenomena in the exhibition and to bring landscapes and locations into the space, even when their monumental scale exceeds the limits of the exhibition space. They act as windows to the historical present, to the people who lived here a long time ago.” (Tuomas Siitonen, Tuomas Siitonen Office, and Panu Heikkilä, Fantomatico Ltd)
The Prehistory Exhibition will open to the public on 1 April 2017, and it will remain open until further notice.
Experience the new prehistory! 1–2 April 2017: Experience the exhibition with a guide and hear the best stories about creating the exhibition at the opening weekend events from 12 pm to 4 pm. The exhibition includes a plentiful additional programme (in Finnish):
The script by Vesa-Pekka Herva and Antti Lahelma will be published in April, and it will be available at the National Museum Shop.
The National Museum of Finland is evolving, and all permanent exhibitions are being updated gradually from 2016 to 2019. The Prehistory Exhibition constitutes the first stage of the renewal. The main exhibition of the Finland 100 centenary year at the National Museum of Finland, Independent Finland, about Finns and Finland in the 1900s will open in December 2017.
Project Manager Hanna Forssell, tel. +358 295 33 6475, email@example.com
Press photos available at the address
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FINLAND
Open Tue-Sun, 11 am–6 pm, Mon closed
Tickets 10 / 7€, free entry for those under 18 years
Mannerheimintie 34, Helsinki
The National Museum of Finland is the historic central museum of Finland with the core mission of archiving and sharing the nationally key capital of cultural history.
The museum family includes seven museums and two castles: National Museum of Finland, Seurasaari Open-Air Museum, Tamminiemi, Hvitträsk, Louhisaari Manor, Museum of Cultures, Maritime Museum of Finland, as well as Häme Castle and Olavinlinna Castle.
The National Board of Antiquities is responsible for protecting environments with cultural history value, archaeological culture heritage and architectural heritage, and other cultural property. It also collects and presents a culture historical national collection, studies material cultural heritage and both supports and develops the museum field nationally.
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