A Brief History of Humankind in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

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Tania Coen-Uzzielli

Inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, in 2015 the Israel Museum presented an interdisciplinary exhibition that took viewers on a journey through some of the crucial moments in the history of humankind, via pivotal objects from the Museum’s encyclopedic collections. The objects - including archaeological finds dating to the dawn of civilization - were juxtaposed with works of contemporary art, sparking a thought-provoking dialogue.

Like the exhibition, each chapter of its richly illustrated catalogue begins with an object that represents a particular turning point in human history, which is then illuminated by artworks in dialogue and by quotations from Harari that broaden our historical, anthropological and social understanding of these revolutionary changes. Inviting new interpretations, the artifacts and works presented here echo Harari's own thoughts and raise questions about the symbolic meaning of material culture.

Tags: All Products, Art, Contemporary, History, Israeli

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