Executions Examined at Neanderthal Museum in Düsseldorf

Gallow, Wheel, and Stake – Insights into Places of Horror is a special exhibit and rare examination of the history of executions

A new unique exhibit at the Neanderthal Museum in Düsseldorf examines executions from the Middle Ages through early modern times from an archeological, anthropological, and ethnographical viewpoint, looking at locations, methods, and causes. The exhibit is called “Gallow, Wheel, and Stake – Insights into Places of Horror”, opens on February 20, 2010, and runs through June 27.

At the center of the exhibition are execution locations from the 13th century on. These places were commonly located outside of city limits and often maintained for generations, their names on historic maps often the only sign of their grisly past. Until now, few places of execution have been archaeologically investigated. The exhibit combines finds from several sites, and includes human remains, tools, and documents to illustrate execution procedures and their history, as well as conditions of executed human beings at the time of their death, such as age, state of health, and nutrition.

The exhibit is accompanied by an extensive program of lectures, events, and tours for adults and children, including several night tours and flash-light-only tours guided by story tellers and performers. Topics of events and lectures include “Witches of the Rhineland,” “Archeology in the Footsteps of Executioners,” “Executions of Bishops and Judges,” “Sinners” and Their Punishments Throughout the Ages,” and more.

The Neanderthal Museum is located at the Düssel River valley site called Neanderthal (near Düsseldorf) where bones of pre-historic humans were discovered 150 years ago by quarry workers. (Hence, the name Neanderthal for the discovered species (Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis)). The museum is only minutes away from Düsseldorf and Düsseldorf International Airport and is open year-round.

For more information on the museum, the exhibit, and opening hours, visit www.neanderthal.de. For more information about Düsseldorf and Düsseldorf International Airport, please contact: Rainer Perry, 934 8th Avenue 2b, New York, NY 10019, phone: 212 957 6653, fax: 646 419 4070, email: perry.r(at)duesseldorf-tourismus(dot)de.

Düsseldorf, only a short distance from many major destinations, makes possible easy travel to the Rhine-Ruhr area, Cologne, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as many opportunities for short and long-term stays. For more information on Düsseldorf, visit www.visitduesseldorf.de

Düsseldorf International Airport, Germany’s third largest, offers several non-stop flights from US & Canadian cities (Atlanta, Chicago, Ft. Myers, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Toronto, San Francisco, Vancouver), as well as convenient connections to many European cities. For more information about the airport, visit www.fly2dus.com