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Finding Your Cultural History at the San Diego Museum of Man

San Diego Museum of Man San Diego Museum of Man Photo: mharrsch via Flickr

The San Diego Museum of Man should definitely be on your list of museums to visit.  This is a museum of anthropology which you can find in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.  The historical landmark buildings that make up the San Diego Museum of Man are truly amazing all by themselves! 

There a host of permanent exhibits and collections focusing on the pre-Columbian history of western America.  You will find many artifacts from Native American tribes from the Southern California area as well as Mayan artifacts from Mesoamerica.  The impressive collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts is one of the largest in the United States.  You will find real mummies, figurines, painted wooden coffins, and even burial masks.  There is even an ultra rare Ptolemaic child’s coffin.  There are only six of these types of coffins in existence!  With literally over 100,000 items, books, journals, and images to view, there will always be a very rich experience every time you visit.

Get to Balboa Park on a Tuesday to take advantage of the resident free Tuesday admission.  In order to fully enjoy and comprehend what this museum has to offer, be sure to take time to read, and think about the exhibits, their history, and how far man has come from the times when these things were created.  You will be entertained and captivated by how far man has come.  You may be shocked and confounded by some of the cultures of the world that came into existence and then slowly faded away, never to be heard from again.  This museum is historical, cultural, archeological, anthropologically, and completely significant.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park Sunset                                                                                         Photo: ksher55


When you enter the Ancient Egyptian exhibit, be sure to view the timeline which depicts the chronology of the various cultures who ruled over Egypt.  There is so much to learn about the Egyptian culture you will be absolutely amazed.  You will find actual mummies, and their sarcophagus’, with their intricate and beautiful designs.  Take your time and read each story.  Put yourself in the footsteps of this ancient culture.  When exiting from the back door you will find a great view of the Cabrillo Bridge, the Museum of Man Facade, and the rest of the park including the Children Discovery Center.

Also, you will see a collection of extremely large Mayan Stelae.  These statues are enormous monuments of the Mayan culture.  They are beautiful and intricately detailed with depictions of the Mayan rulers of the day.  Enjoy and be captivated by the hieroglyphs, and the writing of the Mayan civilization.

Bag, Quiche' Maya

Bag, Quiché Maya                                                                       Photo: sandiegomuseumofman


The footsteps through time exhibit will take you on a tour of the basics of biology in a realistic 3D way which will leave you with a sense of awe about the way the human body works.  This part of the museum is completely dedicated to models of cells, organelles, and the theory of human evolution; it includes full size figures of evolving Homo sapiens.

There are many other intriguing exhibits from other cultures including China, the Philippines, and Africa.  There is even a temporary exhibit of the instruments of torture displaying a large number of instruments used by the Catholic Church during the inquisition!  Plan a visit to the San Diego Museum of Man, and you will find a deep new understanding of mankind that will leave you with a sense of awe and amazement.


Hours: Open every day 10:00 AM. to 5:00 PM
Address/Map:  1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 239-2001
Website: Plan your visit to the San Diego Museum of Man
Adults: $12.50 | Students (13-17): $8.00 | Seniors (62+): $10.00
Military: $10.00 | Children (3-12): $6.00 | Children under 3: FREE