This is the most comprehensive exhibition ever presented on the ancient city of Petra, located in modern-day Jordan. It features approximately 200 artifacts, including architectural fragments and sculptures, ceramics, and decorative stuccowork. The challenge for this show was to evoke a powerful site without literally recreating it.
The exhibit design refers to the Victorian context of Darwin's work, with dark wood and brass cases, while incorporating a contemporary perspective. It moves back and forth from an ordered rectilinear world with decorous Victorian detail, for the sections focusing on Darwin's life, to curving organic shapes in the areas where discovery and science prevail. The section on the Beagle voyage is organized into little islands of content, and the pathway through the exhibit is evocative of the circuitous voyage itself.
The Hall of Human Origins is a permanent 9,000-sq.-ft. exhibit, presenting the history of human evolution from our earliest ancestors millions of years ago to modern Homo sapiens. In a first for an exhibition of its kind, the hall combines the latest in genomic science with up-to-date discoveries in the fossil record.