Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Museo de San Isidro

We went in search this morning of the Museo de San Isidro.  We took ages to find it and kept going round in circles in a mid-morning temperature of 36 degrees.  Our map is small and hard to read.  An old Madridian told us where roughly to go, but he indicated that his eyes were bad.  We went in his suggested direction, but did another 'circle', and ended up back where we spoke to the man.  We were glad his eyes were bad, and, therefore, he wouldn't witness our return.

We found the museum, but first visited the church next door because churches are cool, and offer the chance to have a rest after a hike in the heat.  We then went into the museum.  The museum is not very big, but it's worth a visit because of what we learned.  

Half a million years ago until about 200,000 years ago, the Iberian Peninsula, so Spain and Portugal, had many animals one expects to find today in Africa, such as elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, as well as pre-historic big cats, mammoths, and large red deer.  Early humans gave rise to homo heidelbergensis, which begat homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals).  But the same early humans gave rise to another species, our own homo sapiens.  Modern humans have occupied the area around Madrid from 9,000 years ago.  From 2,100 years ago, there were Romans here, and later barbarians.  I knew already that Muslims once ruled Spain, and I learned today that the Islamic period lasted for 374 years from 711 AD to 1085.  I don't know what brought about their removal.  Christians have existed in Spain now for almost a thousand years.

From each of the 'modern' periods, various artefacts were on display, such as pots, bowls and the like.  A very worn out looking Roman mosaic was also on show.

Entry to the museum was free.

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