A New Museum in Kenya’s Rift Valley Will Cover Two Million Years of Human History

MAQE/Courtesy Studio Libeskind

The actual museum towers will be designed to look like the earliest human-made tools.

If you’ve ever wanted to get a full look at the way humans have evolved since the beginning of our time, start thinking about planning a trip to Kenya’s Rift Valley. Come 2022, plans call for breaking ground on a new museum highlighting two million years of human history, from the very first tools to the digital world we live in today.

Located in Ngaren, Kenya, The Museum of Humankind will be housed in the very same spot that the most complete skeleton of an early man was found, known as the Turkana Boy. The surroundings—the jagged cliffs of the Rift Valley—only set the scene for what you’ll find inside. The exhibits are all-encompassing, covering all of the highs and lows of human life: war, overpopulation, technological advances, evolution, and climate change, among other important topics. The role of Africa and its early roots nurturing human life is also a constant theme throughout the museum.


MAQE/Courtesy Studio Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind, founder of Studio Libeskind, which will oversee the building of the museum, shared in an interview with Dezeen“The museum will be a place for discovery, wonder, and contemplation. Through the architecture and exhibitions, Ngaren will anchor all walks of life to Africa: the epicenter of human existence."

The museum will consist of three separate structures, two of which will be designed to resemble the shape of the earliest handmade tools. There will be a third dome to complete the campus. Details on the interior have not been released, but Libeskind has described them as “interactive and cutting-edge.”


MAQE/Courtesy Studio Libeskind

The museum is far more than a history lesson, it’s an opportunity to reflect on our own lifespan as a species. “Ngaren is not just another museum, but a call to action," Libeskind shared with Dezeen. "As we peer back through the fossil record, through layer upon layer of long-extinct species, many of which thrived far longer than the human species is ever likely to do, we are reminded of our mortality as a species."