Monday, July 09, 2007

Homo heidelbergensis exhibition

As you all know (since you are eagerly reading this blog ;) ) there is an exhibition at Mauer near Heidelberg to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the finding of the H. heidelbergensis mandible. The whole event was mostly aimed at kids, with lots of activities centering around 'lithic' man (am I being sexist here?) I cannot write Palaeolithic, because it was a sweeping attack at prehistoric ages covering wildly all ~lithic ages. The children were painting Palaeolithic animals (on paper not cave walls as I may annotate here), were cooking Neolithic spelt soup or throwing a javelin. Prof. Eibner (my dear lecturer and mentor at Heidelberg University) was producing Mesolithic looking flint flakes and not so Palaeolithic looking cores and axes and he also dared to boldly go where no lithic man has gone before. He (unsuccessfully) tried to smelt copper in an open fire. I would have been very surprised had he succeded - in an open fire that is. Still his enthusiasm is unbeatable and I must admit he has a way with kids, always being surrounded by them.
The remainder was more for the adult party. The museum featured the original mandible
photo from

And apart from it lots of fossils from the sandpit Grafenrain, where the mandible was found: from voles to rhinoes (sorry, no hippoes though). A short drive or a medium long walk brought you to the sandpit itself where the geology and dating techniques are explained on really nice posters.

The icing of the cake was the evening lecture given by Prof. Eibner. Probably a little bit heavy for the audience present, but nicely done. I wish he had given more of these coherent lectures at uni. But on the other hand his incoherence was his trade mark and the one thing that made him so special and amiable.

No comments:

Post a Comment