It has been in the works since man first emerged from the primordial ooze.
The archeological tendency has historically been to up-root and remove ancient artifacts from their age-old resting places for studious transport to foreign lands.
University of Calgary researcher Julio Mercader hopes opening of the first museum of its kind in Mozambique’s Niassa province might end the pillage and spark increased participation of African archeologists in the study of human origins.
“I’d like to think that this is going to signal the onset of a trend,” he said. “We’re going to fight as hard as we can in international conferences and academic venues to indicate that there is a need for this.”
Mozambiquen national Mussa Raja agreed and said in Portuguese through translation by Mercader he’s grateful for the opportunity as it’s a new science in African universities.
He also said that he can see his fellow countrymen are happy one of their own is taking up the cause.
Since 2003, Mercader, with the help of nine agencies in three countries, has been uncovering stone-age relics, and rather than bring it all back to Canada, he said the best thing to do was create the Museu Local to stimulate not only the province’s economy, but the imaginations of its residents.
The museum opens in August and will also be home to recorded oral histories passed down through generations.
Graduate student Tim Bennett said while he initially had big dreams of pyramids and “stuff you see in Indiana Jones movies,” he’s happy to have stumbled into a field where “there are still so many big questions.”