SMAC will display and present the origins and history of Saxony in an exhibition spanning three floors of the former Schocken department store in the heart of Chemnitz – from the bottom of the building right up to the top. The centrepiece of the most advanced archaeology exhibition in Europe will be a multimedia map installation that interlinks different historical periods and brings history to life. “We’re not just showing lots of fragments in glass cases like many people might expect in an archaeological museum. Our aim is to tell the stories behind the objects,” says Dr Sabine Wolfram, director of SMAC. With its interactive elements, range of lighting effects and a wealth of unique objects, the new museum is certain to succeed in this endeavour. It is incredible to think that drawings and engravings of outstanding quality were being produced 12,000 years ago. Evidence of this virtuosity can be seen in a small slate tablet depicting the heads of horses, found in Groitzsch in northern Saxony. This tiny masterpiece is the only artefact of its kind in Saxony.

One of the star attractions in Chemnitz’s new museum is the 7,000-year-old “Adonis” uncovered in Zschernitz and dating from the Neolithic period. Not only does this male torso exhibit superb craftsmanship, it is the only male figure to be found among the many female figurines from the period.

The fascinating and lively journey through many thousands of years of history ends at the very top of the building, in the 20th century, with a fantastic view and a small exhibition about the former owner of the architectural gem that houses SMAC – department store chain founder Salman Schocken. But that’s another story.

www.smac.museum