Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology

The Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology was founded by Prince Albert I in 1902 “to conserve traces of early humankind exhumed in the Principality and neighbouring regions.” 

The numerous collections which have been brought together in the Museum over more than a century represent the various phases of regional prehistory and protohistory. The majority of the archaeological and palaeontological exhibits come from the Principality and neighbouring areas (France and Italy).

A little history

Following a long series of excavations in the Grimaldi Caves (1895–1902), ordered and financed by Prince Albert I, it became necessary and indispensable to have a single place where all of the items found could be kept in order to preserve and exhibit them.
The first Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology was located on the Rocher.
In 1902, Prince Albert I chose the former Government House building for the Museum and appointed Canon Léonce de Villeneuve as Director.
In 1960, the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology moved to a new building in the middle of the Exotic Garden. The Museum’s new home was designed by Monegasque architect Louis Rué. The scientific research and archaeological digs carried out by a succession of teams from the Museum (L. Barral, S. Simone) will further enrich the institution’s collections.
The collections on display enable visitors to trace the major steps in the evolution of humanity through the various glacial and interglacial periods. They teach us that over a million years ago, the French Riviera was already a favoured habitat for our ancient ancestors.
As a research institute, the Museum continues to conduct field digs, carry out laboratory studies and publish an annual scientific bulletin.

«A mammoth in Monaco! This exceptional woolly mammoth skeleton arrived at the Museum in 2014.»  

The mammoth skeleton (Mammuthus primigenius) is an exceptional example, conserved for scientific purposes (palaeontology, dating) and for exhibition. Excavated in Siberia, 1,000 kilometres east of the Lena River, several expeditions (1991 to 2003) were needed to collect the numerous skeletal remains from the permafrost. Using the various remains, mounted on a metallic structure, it has been possible to recreate an adult proboscidean 5 metres long, 3.30 metres high and 2.20 metres wide.
Today, temporary exhibitions are held on a variety of themes:
“Let’s Settle at the Museum. Paleolithic Groups of 25,000 Years Ago: Between the Sea and the Mountains”, “Monoïkos – The Ancient History of the Principality”, “The Secret of Stones”, “The Mysterious Okuniev Civilisation”, “Preconceptions in Prehistory”, “On the Trail of the First Artists: Draw Me a Bison” and “Conquering Fire”.

Archaeological sites in Monaco
Numerous archaeological digs have been carried out by teams from the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology in Monaco. Field work and laboratory study continue to this day (E. Rossoni-Notter, O. Notter, P. Simon, S. Simone in collaboration with international teams).
There are a number of archaeological sites in the Principality of Monaco. The Observatory Cave still retains the oldest traces of occupation. It is currently being excavated and the finds are being studied in the laboratory. Read more


OPENING HOURS:
January: 9 am to 5 pm
February to April: 9 am to 6 pm
May to September: 9 am to 7 pm
October: 9 am to 6 pm
November to December: 9 am to 5 pm
Closed on 19 November (National Holiday) and 25 December.
ADMISSION (PER PERSON):
Tickets are valid for entry to the Exotic Garden, the Observatory Cave and the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology.
Workshops for children are available on request.
EMail : [email protected]

Adults: €7.20
Children (aged 6–18): €3.80
Students (with card, max 30 years old): €3.80
Seniors (over 65): €5.50
Special rates for groups and schools are available on request and subject to booking
Combined ticket including Villa Paloma (NMNM): €10.00