The 19th century was the age of great expeditions, with their declared goal of researching and understanding the diversity of the world's familiar and unfamiliar nature. Interest was devoted not just to nature, but also to the diversity of culture and its upholders – humans.

Researchers such as Fritz and Paul Sarasin travelled to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands, bringing back with them extensive ethnological comparison collections to Basel. As their research shows, Fritz and Paul Sarasin had a very comprehensive approach to collecting. As well as everyday and religious objects, they also brought back human skeletons and rocks to the then Museum of Ethnology. Other researchers such as Felix Speiser and Paul Wirz travelled to the New Hebrides, New Britain and Indonesia, also bringing significant collections back with them to Switzerland. These collections remain important even today for researchers from all over the world.

The exhibits with the healed and unhealed traces of bear bites are certainly worth mentioning.