Human traces, an exhibition for all

The exhibition “Human traces, Loire-Atlantique from Pre-Historic times to the Vikings” presents to the general public a panorama of the human adventure that took place on a unique territory characterized by its estuary and the ocean, it shows the obstacles that migrating populations had to overcome and the roads that all influential powers travelled.

2,800 objects, among which 600 have been restored for this instance, illustrate the history of Nantes and the department, from the beginning of time to the year one thousand. Marie-Hélène Santrot, the curator, selected new objects from the newly restored collections of the museum.
But, in order to also highlight recent acquisitions, the museum obtained from the Pays de la Loire regional Archaeology Department and the city of Rezé, temporary loans of numerous objects that had until then been kept in storehouses. Individuals have also generously contributed to this exhibition.

In order to facilitate the access to a difficult culture, ten large panoramas, nine scenes and maps illustrate different time periods.
Gérald Musch, painter and graphic designer in Belle-île-en-Mer (Morbihan), painted panoramas of the Loire River and the region’s coastlines representing the climate, the fauna, the flora, the habitations, and the human activities during pre-historic and historic times.
Michel Politzer, visual artist and illustrator in Plumergat (Morbihan), conceived scenes and clay figurines to help illustrate the gestures of the times and to demonstrate how to use the objects presented.
The archaeologist Lionel Pirault (INRAP) put together two reconstitutions of the city of Rezé under the High Empire and during the Merovingian era.
All these works have been laid out by Joël and Sylvie Jupin, museographers and graphic designers in Trangé (Sarthe), who conceived a clear and rich museography that takes into account younger visitors.
There are also four screens available to watch a selection or twenty, short archaeological films.
With the creation of an additional gallery and close to 600 m² of exhibition, the surface dedicated to archaeology at the Dobrée museum has thus doubled and, thanks to its gardens, about 450 m² of the exhibition are accessible visitors with reduced mobility.