Today I was very moved when I saw the estimated 6500 year old remains of a buried child in the Archaeological Museum Amman, at the Citadel. The museum shows many artefacts, neutrally placed on glass or wooden shelves. However, this child got special care: it was placed on a soft, warm cushion. Is there a better way for a museum to show that they care? is there a finer way for Jordanians to express their culture of respect?
Culture is not a matter of big flags and statues, although I admit they can be part of it. Culture is often recognized from little, tiny details in daily life, such as the care for a child that has died not just centuries but thousands and thousands of years ago. This museum shows that even after so much time, it is possible to surround a child with love. Wow Jordan… It really touched my heart!
The museum has some spectacular pieces that in Western museums would be presented with lots of pooha. However here in Amman they are shown in a very modest way. This is a pity because if you do not know, you might overlook the uniqueness of the findings. I spoke very enthusiasticly to a Jordanian woman about the museum and the artefacts I saw there and she thought deeply and said in surprise: ‘I was there but I must have missed that, I do not remember at all’.
So if you go pay a visit to the archaeological museum at the Citadel of Amman, do your homework beforehand and you will enjoy your visit tremendously because nowhere in the world you can find older statues than here: really! And while you’re there, don’t forget to pay your respects to the chalcolithic child that most probably had loving parents and is now taken care of by loving Jordanians.
The sign in front of the child says: ‘The burial of infants in jars was a common custom in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Palestine. The jar was generally placed under the living room floor, possibly to keep the child within the family circle‘. (Ghassul, Chalcolithic).
Chalcolithic means: 5500-3500 BC.
One other real old, real interesting museum: Archaeological Museum Gaziantep, Turkey
And this one, also in Gaziantep: Medusa Glass Museum
And this one, in the Netherlands: Archaeological Museum Haarlem