ProsAn excellent museum, modern, well equipped, waiting for visitors.
ConsThere is no airport in the small town of Mettmann. You'll have to go there by bus or train, from Dusseldorf or Cologne.
Mettmann is a remote settlement set in the triangle made by three German cities: Cologne, Wuppertal and Dusseldorf. It is famous for a single, very important feature: it's the place which has the Neanderthal Museum!
The Neanderthal Museum is quite famous between anthropologists. Here, in Mettmann, is the point where the history of man has started: in 1856 mine workers found in a cave the fosilised remains of a man that obviously was living long before our era. The renowned Professor Johannes Fuhlrott identified this as the remains of a prehistoric man; the Neanderthal Man "was born".International scholars started to formulate new hypotheses about the development of humanity. It is now known that the Homo Sapiens Neandertalensis existed from about 200,000 to 40,000 BC.
In July 2000 there were even more exciting findings made in this field: an archaeological crew led by Dr. Schmitz and Dr. Thissen pin-pointed, after a long exploration, the authentic location of our ancestors, and unearthed parts of the zygomatic bone that fit precisely the famous skull....They put another piece into the puzzle. Prof. Weniger, director of the Neanderthal Museum, desire to discover more extraordinary fossils in the near future.
Apart from fossilized bones, this year's excavations unveiled roughly five to six thousand stone tools and manufacturing waste from the time of the Neanderthals, and even remnants of early modern Cro-Magnon man. Burnt animal bones are proof of the usage of fire.
The second man, whose traces were discovered in 1997, is more complete. It could easily be located in time: 44,000 years BC, therefore he's really really old. The question appeared: Was he or the Neanderthals, human like us? That would have been an additional spectacular discovery, for it would have been the oldest find of the bones of a modern human.
The new Neanderthal Museum, which started receiving visitors on Oct 10, 1996, begins to tell the history of the evolution of humanity from the Neanderthals. Being an international archeological center it is also the meeting place of scientists from around the world.
To show the unique attachment of Mettman city with its world-renowned valley, the museum was constructed with a large civic engagement as a living, "talking" connection to evolution. The museum shows the concept and history of humanity in multiple aspects and forms of representation as an "open event".
However, we can find many Neanderthal "hints" in the city of Mettmann. For instance, the Neanderthal Hall's educational and social center, the Mettmann district's local radio station was named "Radio Neanderthal", and a modern commercial center in the center of the city was called "the Neanderthal Passage".
The Neanderthal museum is absolutely worth paying a visit, it's great. Each year a lot of visitors (mainly groups of students) come to Mettmann and learn about their own evolution. You can come too, if you are interested in such things.
The Mark Hotel Mettmann is probably the nicest hotel in the district of Mettmann. Remember that if you decide to go.