The Egyptian Geological Museum was established and opened for the public in 1904, as a part of the Egyptian Geological Survey (EGS) founded earlier in 1896. The museum introduces visitors to Egyptian geology and history. Mining and metallurgy started many thousands of years ago, in predynastic times. Egyptians were the pioneers in extraction and utilization of metals and stones, the essential basics of civilization. They were the first to discover gold and copper and mine them from the Eastern Desert and Sinai.

The first geological map known to us was drawn to represent the Fawakhir gold mine on a papyrus in the Turin Museum. Iron was smelted from ores in Aswan and smelting was also carried out at Naukratis and Defna in the Delta region.

This added to the Egyptian power and prosperity. During the Ptolemaic and Byzantien periods, granite was quarried from Mons Claudianus, the Imperial Porphyry from Gabal Dokhan and the Breccia Verd from Wadi Hammamat . These were used in decorating palaces all over the Roman Empire. Egypt was also the first to produce famous types of glass. Precious stones, especially turquoise, emerald and peridot, were gathered and turned into very pretty jewelry by the ancients.

The geological history of Egypt as indicated by it’s fauna and flora is displayed in the Museum. There is also the unique collection of the Fayoum vertebrate fossils on display and of course, a large collection of Egyptian and other minerals, ores and rocks. In addition, a very valuable collection of meteorites discovered in Egypt and from other places in the world are displayed. These include the famous Egyptian meteorite “Nakhlite” believed to be from Mars.

The Museum is served by a library with references that date as far back as 1778, in addition to up to date references and bibliographies. These are available to the public and scientists. The Museum also includes some specialized laboratories for mineralogical, petrological and paleontological (both vertebrate and invertebrate) studies. Models for rare vertebrate fossils are made to facilitate detailed studies and preserve the original specimens. The Museum shares in the studies conducted on the protectorates and outstanding geological features in order to raise the public environmental awareness.

Joint researches and cooperation with other international geological surveys, universities and museums are among the major concerns of the Museum. Cooperation with Duke University (U.S.A.), Toronto and Milano Geological Museums (Italy), The Museum of Natural History in London (U.K.) are good examples. Also, support to local museums in universities and schools is offered. This includes providing samples and training secondary school teachers and specialists from other scientific institutions.
0 Responses