Layout of the prehistoric division of the Neues Museum


The current temporary exhibition with wooden installations. Photo: C. Plamp

The temporary exhibition with wooden installations. Photo: C. Plamp

How does one exhibit ancient spaces and knowledge regarding the shaping of ancient spaces in museums or in exhibitions? This was a central theme in Topoi. In cooperation with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (SMB), this question was directly incorporated into the work of the museum. In cooperation with fellows of the Excellence Cluster Topoi, concepts for new exhibitions and presentations have been developed for the The Museum für Islamische Kunst. The new arrangement of the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in the Neues Museum serves as an example in this case. An exhibition area covering the period from the Paleolithic to the pre-Roman Iron Age was newly opened in 2014. Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte has conceived this new area in close collaboration with two Topoi fellows.

One of the main focuses of the exhibition concept was the visualization of traditions and innovations in space and time. In order to demonstrate these connections, Thomas Terberger, a Topoi fellow from the University of Greifswald, has been brought in as a research advisor for the Stone Age, Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. The Bronze and Iron Ages are the purview of  Carola Metzner-Nebelsick, a Topoi fellow from the Universität München. Both fellows are worked in close cooperation with museum curators Almut Hoffmann, Angelika Hofmann and Alix Hänsel. The project was led by the director of the museum, Matthias Wemhoff.

The exhibition script took its cues from a test exhibition that was also developed in cooperation with Topoi fellows and has been on display at the Neues Museum since October 2009. The reactions of museum visitors indicated which areas should be integrated into the new concept and where changes should be made.

The new permanent exhibition retains a display-case architecture suitable to the historical character of the building and the layout of the remaining floors. Additional illustrative elements help bring the prehistoric exhibits to life; to this end, the work of researchers with access to current research results is ideally complement that of curators with didactical experience in the transmission of knowledge.


June 29, 2014 until further notice

Opening hours

daily 10 – 18, on thursdays up to 22 PM


Neues Museum Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin

Further Information

Zurück! Steinzeit. Bronzezeit. Eisenzeit. Im Neuen Museum

Exhibition Opening  June 29, 2014

Press release on “Zurück! Steinzeit. Bronzezeit. Eisenzeit. Im Neuen Museum” [PDF | 130 KB]