CULTURE & ARTS
04/09/2018 22:39 BST

These Are Some Of The Treasures Feared Lost In Brazil's Museum Fire

The collection includes mummies, the oldest human skull found in the Americas and one of the world's largest meteorites.

More than 20 million items are feared damaged or completely destroyed following a massive fire at the National Museum of Brazil that tore through the historic building on Sunday night.

The museum, located in a former palace in Rio de Janeiro, boasted a range of art, artifacts and preserved zoological species and fossils. The facility was one of the country’s oldest scientific institution.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire.

As workers attempt to recover the museum’s treasured possessions, or what is left of them, here’s a look at some of the items it showcased inside.

  • Americas' Oldest Human Skull
    Americas' Oldest Human Skull
    Museunacionalufrjbr and ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images
    The photo features the 12,000-year-old skull of 'Luzia', the oldest skeleton discovered in the Americas, seen on the left next to a reconstruction of what she is believed to have looked like.
  • Egyptian Mummies
    Egyptian Mummies
    National Museum/Facebook
    A mummified Egyptian cat and a sarcophagus that the museum featured.
  • Brazil's Largest Meteorite
    Brazil's Largest Meteorite
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    The museum boasted the largest Brazilian meteorite and one of the largest in the world. Initial reports suggest that it survived the blaze.
  • Insects
    Insects
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    The museum's entomology collection consisted of more than five million specimens.
  • South American Mummies
    South American Mummies
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    On the left, a mummified man found in a grave in a northern Chile desert from 4,700 to 3,400 years ago is seen. On the right, a mummy that was found in Lake Titicaca, between Peru and Bolivia.
  • African Artifacts
    African Artifacts
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    A war flag from 1810 is seen along with a pair of royal sandals from Africa. The items were gifts from the King of Dahomey, according to the museum's website.
  • Fossils
    Fossils
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    The museum featured both authentic fossils and replicas. This photo shows a giant saber-toothed tiger and sloths.
  • Birds
    Birds
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    The museum's collection of preserved bird specimens was celebrated for being nearly 200 years old.
  • Cultural Artifacts
    Cultural Artifacts
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    Some of the cultural art housed at the museum included this feminized statue (left) and this Amazonian fish-shaped sculpture (right).
  • Indigenous Art
    Indigenous Art
    Museunacionalufrjbr
    This photo features an indigenous shield and a mask from the 19th century from the museum's Amazonian exhibition.