Origins - Stories of the World

Musée des Confluences


The common origin of life
The exhibition entitled “Origins, the stories of the world” will take you back in time from the last hominids up to the common origin of life over three billion years ago and then you will go further back to the big bang that created the universe, fourteen billion years ago.
Throughout the tour, two approaches to explaining the world are displayed side by side. On one hand, the natural sciences explain how life developed and evolved as an interconnected system of species. On the other hand, the social sciences, on the basis of contemporary works and pieces from the ethnographic collections of the museum, reveal how certain cultures have developed stories to explain the origins of humanity.
Fragment of the jawbone of a Homo sapiens child
This fragment is one of the oldest remains of our own species, Homo sapiens, discovered in France.

Common raven(1988)
For the Inuit people, this bird is often associated with dreams, the uninitiated and shamanism. It enables one to see farther and to access the invisible realities of the world of spirits.

The camarasaurus appeared in North America 155 million years ago. They form part of the group of sauropods, the largest quadruped herbivorous dinosaurs that ever walked the earth.
Mammoth of Choulans
It was discovered in 1859 when work was being done on the hillside at Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, 3 kilometres from the musée des Confluences.
Crocodile of Cerin
This fossil is exceptionally well preserved.

The remains were lying at the bottom of an ancient tropical lagoon near Lyon, around 150 million years ago.

Banded iron formations
This rock formation reminds us that nearly 4 billion years ago, life formed on earth from molecules such as, for example, amino acids. Bacteria, the earliest forms of life, gradually produced the oxygen in the oceans and the atmosphere.

Incense clock18e century
Since the Sung Dynasty (960-1279), the Chinese use sticks of incense to measure time as the material is readily available and it burns slowly and at a regular pace.

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