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The Egyptian Geological Museum is a museum in Cairo, Egypt. The museum was established in 1904 as part of the Egyptian Geological Survey, which had been started in 1896 under the direction of the Khedive Ismail. The museum was the first of its kind in the Middle East and the African continent.[1]

The museum was initially housed in a Greco-Roman style building that was located in the gardens of the Ministry of Public Works in downtown Cairo; it was designed by Marcel Dourgnon, the French architect who had previously designed and constructed the Egyptian Museum (also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities). The museum had an exhibition hall with ceilings 4 metres (13 ft) high in order to accommodate the reconstructed fossil skeletons of archaeological finds, which included a 3 metres (10 ft) high ancestral elephant.[1] The first Museum Keeper was William Andrews, a paleontologist from London's Natural History Museum, in 1904, who was followed by Henry Osborne in 1906.[2] The original museum was expanded in 1968 with the construction of an annex designed to house the museum's laboratories for petrology and paleontology.[1]

The museum remained there in downtown Cairo until 1982, when the original building was torn down to accommodate construction of the Cairo Metro,[1] and the museum was transferred to its present location near Maadi, a southern suburb of Cairo.

On display are the Fayoum vertebrates, a series of fossils that had been unearthed in 1898 by geologist Hugh Beadnell at Qasr Al-Sagha to the north of Birqet Qarun in the Fayoum desert.[1] These artifacts were sent to the British Museum for identification and returned to be displayed at the museum. The museum also includes examples of the natural history of Egypt, and how its geology and minerals helped make Egypt a world power.[2]

Also in the museum's collection is the Nekhlite meteorite, a Martian meteorite that fell at the village of Nekhle in Beheira Province in 1908, and is one of only 33 meteorites known to have their origin in the planet Mars. [1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kamil, Jill. "History in geological time", Al-Ahram Weekly, October 7, 2004. Accessed October 3, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Egyptian Geological Museum, TourEgypt.net. Accessed October 3, 2008.

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