A new building for the archaeology, non-European cultures, and natural history collections was constructed following the plans of the architect Carlfried Mutschler and the artist Erwin Bechtold on square D5 in 1988. This modernistic light cube with the distinctive gap in its facade establishes a dynamic contrast to the historical Zeughaus across from it.
The building on D5 houses the archaeology collections. The exhibit “Human Time: Stories of the Emergence of Early Humankind” presents the Stone Age, the first archaeologically traceable epoch. It invites visitors into a place to discover and learn about the lives and social milieus of peoples from the distant past.
The exhibition “Barbarians on the Rhine and Neckar” has been transporting visitors back to the early Middle Ages since February of 2015. Over 1000 archaeological finds relate the history of a young, brutal and mobile society that lived here in rural settlements under the rule of the Franks.
Other sections of the archaeological collections are being developed at present. The collections of the Metal Ages through the Roman era will be put on display for the public in February of 2016. They will complete the archaeological exhibit in the World Cultures Museum D5.
Numerous installations and impressive exhibition objects will enable visitors to comprehend the crucial impact that knowledge of metalworking had on the communal life of the peoples in the Rhine-Neckar region throughout the Bronze and Iron Ages.
The Roman era left its traces behind in Mannheim and environs, too. The wall decoration from the Villa of Oftersheim and Mannheim’s famous Roman stones, collected by Elector Carl Theodor in the 18th century, impressively document this history.
Ancient Egyptian art and culture, the new highlight of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen collections, is located in D5, too. Since the fall of 2014, the exhibition “Egypt: Land of Immortality" has been enabling visitors to discover 4,000 years of advanced civilization on the Nile. The exhibition objects, some up to 6000 years old, are the focus of an exhibit that employs impressive installations and thematic worlds to provide an overview of cultural history in everyday life in the land of the Pharaohs and of quite distinct conceptions of the afterlife. The current exhibit will be supplemented by special exhibitions in the future.