chapter  4
13 Pages

History of conservation

The earliest collecting of objects of the past is represented by the occurrence of fossils in palaeolithic graves. Such tokens supported the idea of a supernatural and something beyond the present. Like many of the rulers of ancient kingdoms, the Egyptian pharaohs massed collections of old, unusual and interesting objects such as Tulimosis III's collection of Asian flora and fauna. Such collections celebrated their power to own the rare and consequently valuable, and to have an understanding of things beyond the experience of other men. However, in the sixth century BC, En-nigaldi-Nanna, the daughter of Mesopotamian king Nabonidus, had a collection of ancient objects in a building which has been interpreted as a school (Lewis 1992a) and thus this is perhaps the earliest museum, a collection used to educate others.