Hunting and gathering shaped our way of life for the longest period of human history. It was only 12 000 years ago that a radical break took place. Until about the year 1500, one percent of the world’s population still existed as hunters and gatherers, a culture that is now becoming extinct.
Hunters and gatherers obtain their food by hunting wild animals, fishing and gathering plants that grow in the wild. Hunter-gatherer cultures existed until recent times on all populated continents, from the San and Pygmies in Africa, the Avá Guajá and Inuit of the Americas, the Aborigine tribes in Australia to the Semang in Asia. Through an array of artifacts and ethnographic material, as well as preparations of the animals and plants forming the basis of the hunter-gatherer diet, this exhibit of the natural history collections offers a fascinating look into this disappearing way of life.
Starting in Early History, the exhibit turns its initial focus to the northwest European Ertebølle-Ellerbek culture and the horse hunters of Wiesbaden-Igstadt. The digging expeditions of Prof. Dr. Thomas Terberger led to the discovery of an Ice Age camp site north of the Wäschbach, a stream in the northern Taunus region. Twenty-three thousand years ago, this region was not only home to successful hunters but also saw the production of jewelry made of fossilized muscles and snails.
The exhibit is centered on the ethnographic collections of Werner Hammer, a resident of Wiesbaden, who spent over 30 years of his life on numerous expeditions to the hunters and gatherers in the jungles of South American and other regions of the world. His collections take visitors on an exciting expedition of their own, allowing them to experience human culture in all its diversity.
Hunters and gatherers — The demise of a culture
Authors: Werner Hammer, Fritz Geller-Grimm, Hannes Lerp, Andy Reymann,
112 pages, German / English, 19 x 25,5 cm, Museum Wiesbaden 2015