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A Brief History of Humankind in The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Edited by Tania Coen-Uzzielli

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Inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s bestselling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, the Israel Museum presented in 2015 an interdisciplinary exhibition that took viewers on a journey through some of the crucial moments in the history of humankind. Drawing from the Museum’s encyclopedic collections, the exhibition juxtaposed archaeological finds dating to the dawn of civilization with works of contemporary art, sparking a thought-provoking dialogue. Like the exhibition, each chapter of its accompanying catalogue focuses on an item that represents a particular turning point in human history, illuminated by relevant artworks and by quotations from Harari that broaden our historical, anthropological, and social understanding of these revolutionary changes. Inviting new interpretations, the objects and works presented here echo Harari’s reflections and raise questions about the symbolic meaning of material culture.

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