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Geological Museum, Cairo
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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. It was the first of its kind in the Middle East and the African continent. The original museum was expanded with the construction of an annex designed to house the museum's laboratories for petrology and paleontology.The museum remained there in downtown Cairo until 1982, when the original building was torn down to accommodate construction of the Cairo Metro, and the museum was transferred to its present location near Maadi, a southern suburb of Cairo.

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. The first Museum Keeper was William Andrews in 1904, a paleontologist from London's Natural History Museum, who was followed by Henry Osborne in 1906.

The Egyptian Geological Museum is the museums that disseminates geological science to the public. It introduces the discoveries of the Egyptian Geological survey and Mining Authority ( EGSMA), in the field of the geology in Egypt , to the public. While it provides considerable attention to the ancient life forms in Egypt, it also devotes a great interest to the most important mineral deposits in Egypt, along with their uses during the different ages. Meteorites and their effects on the earth surface are also considered within the main topics of the museum. It  plays the essential role of introducing earth sciences to the public. It emphasizes the geology of Egypt, its minerals, rocks and fossils, through well organized displays. 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 .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. These artifacts were sent to the British Museum for identification and returned to be displayed at the museum. The collection continued to grow and become more varied with the increased number of field expedition and the different areas covered by field work. The museum also includes examples of the natural history of Egypt, and how its geology and minerals helped make Egypt a world power . In addition, a very valuable collection of meteorites discovered in Egypt and from other places in the world are displayed. 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.

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. It is specialized in geological sciences. It hosts more than 10.000 text books, journals, periodicals, annals and maps. It includes original editions of many rare books.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.

The Museum collection is displayed in three Galleries

Minerals & Rocks Gallery

This Gallery is one of the three main galleries of the Museum. Mineral exhibitions show different varieties of minerals that are classified on the basis of their chemical composition, their occurrences in Egypt, their physical properties and their uses.In this gallery, various specimens of minerals and rock are exhibited. These represent the main occurrences of minerals and rocks in Egypt and some important specimens from other parts of the world. It is include :

1- Gold Glass Case:  In ancient times, Egyptians exploited many sites for gold in the Eastern Desert and utilized large quantities of gold in the making of jewelry and object of fine art. At the same time, it displays some different gold alloys.

2 - Al Omary’s Showcase:  This glass case exhibits a collection of minerals of special value donated by the late Omary’s family.

 3 - Chemical Classification of Minerals:  This exhibition occupies a large sector of the minerals and rocks gallery. It is devoted to the minerals arranged according to their chemical composition. In this case, minerals are exhibited as groups on the basis of the type of anion, as native elements , oxides , sulfide , halides , carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, miscellaneous Minerals, silicates .

4- Egyptian Ores:  In these showcases the Egyptian ores are arranged according to their localities in Egypt, e.g., Sinai ores ; Eastern Desert ore and Western Desert ores.

5- Exhibition of the physical properties: This exhibition shows collection of specimens that illustrate the physical properties of minerals, such as the variation of color in the same mineral e.g.( quartz); stability of streak irrespective of the variation of color in the same mineral; luster; play of colors; transparency; hardness and cleavage.

6- Exhibition of Morphological Features: This show case exhibits a collection of minerals of special forms, such as; fibrous gypsum , oolitic hematite and others.

7 - Exhibition of Crystallographic Systems:  This show case displays a collection of minerals occurring in the crystallographic systems .

8 - Exhibition of Gems: This exhibition displays collections of minerals that are characterized by pretty colors , transparency and hardness. It includes the well known Egyptian gems .In addition to these Egyptian gems, it contains some of the world gems such as topaz, amber tourmaline, garnet and others .

- Exhibitions of Rocks: These exhibitions show representative specimens for the three main groups of rocks consisting of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic as well as most of the famous Egyptian rocks. The include:

A – Igneous Rocks: This exhibition shows representative specimens of most of the subdivisions of igneous rocks.

B- Sedimentary Rocks: The exhibitions of sedimentary rocks show specimens representing the two main subdivisions of these rocks consisting of clastic and nonclastic.
 
C- Metamorphic Rocks: The exhibitions of the metamorphic rocks show most of their common varieties

D- Famous Egyptians Rocks: This exhibition shows some of the most famous ornamental Egyptian stones which were used during ancient Egyptian times.

- Miscellaneous : A large space of this exhibitions is devoted to the well known Egyptian silica glass ( Libyan Desert Glass) and three meteorites that were collected from the glass field during a May 1991 expedition. This expedition explored the possibility that Libyan Glass was formed as the result of an impact of a huge meteorite.
Exhibition of Meteorites: This shows a huge international collection of meteorites , representing the three main groups consisting of irons, stony- irons and stones.In a separate show case , the Egyptian meteorites are shown.

1– Exhibition of Flint Implements: This exhibition shows a collection of flint implements and other stone tools of prehistoric time.
 
2 – Exhibition of Tektites and Silica Glass: This exhibition shows a wide variety of tektites from different parts of the world including Moldvites, Australuite, Indochinites and others.

Invertebrate Fossils Gallery

This is the second of the three main exhibition galleries in the Egyptian Geological Museum, which consist of the Rocks & Minerals , Invertebrate Fossils and Vertebrate Fossils galleries.This gallery is divided mainly into three divisions consisting of the Stratigraphics Sequence ( Geological Column), Egyptian Geology as represented by fossils and Systematic paleontology. In addition, the Gallery shows a collection of specimens that represent the methods of preservation.

There are also some collections :

1- The Stratigraphic Sequence ( Geological Column): This display exhibits invertebrate fossils arranged stratigraphically from Cambrian to recent times and includes Trilobites , Corals , Mollusca , Echinoid and others.

2- The Egyptian Geology : Here is displayed exhibits of the Egyptian stratigraphic sequence as given by fossils from Cambro of Ordovician           ( represented by trace fossils), including Brachiopoda , Mollusca, Echinoid and others.

3- Systematic Paleontology : Organisms are not only classified into two great kingdoms ( Plants & Animals) but are also subdivided into successively smaller and more restricted groups. There is a special show case exhibiting the systematic classification of invertebrate organism.

4- Miscellaneous:

- The prehistoric Civilization Collection
- Display of Methods of Preservation
- The Ex-Royal Family Samples
- Display of Fossil Plants

Vertebrate Fossils Gallery

This gallery hosts mainly the world famous Vertebrate fossils discovered in the Fayoum province , together with a few other important Fossils .The main displays are:
- Arsinoitherium show cases 
- Moeritherium
- Palaeomastodon 
- Basilosaurus (Zeuglodon)
- Aegyptopithecus
- Tomistoma
- Turtles
- Sirenia (Sea Cow)
- Fish

The Egyptian Geological Museum participates in the advancement of scientific research through collaboration with scientists from Egypt and abroad, who seek out famous collections of vertebrate fossils and of meteorites.Moreover, it concerns the history of the Earth as a whole, including the most important events effecting the Earth. It explores the creation of life and its development during the various geological periods. During one visit to the Egyptian Geological Museum, one may gain considerable knowledge about the history of the Earth as well as the features of the Egyptian Land over millions while also examining the strange forms of creations that spread during different periods in Egypt.The museum introduces visitors to Egyptian geology and history.