Exhibitions on the subject

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Fossiliferous cherts are becoming increasingly popular. This is apparent from the increasing number of collectors as well as from exhibitions devoted to the subject. A few museums show fossiliferous cherts as part of their permanent display, others cover the subject with special exhibitions.Some of these laudable activities are mentioned in the following.

This survey of exhibitions will be updated. Note that special exhibitions may be short-term. For current status and details see the websites of the institutions. Information on past exhibitions is not deleted on this website in order to support the notion that the interest in fossiliferous cherts is growing.


"A forest of precious stones – given by volcanos / The Sterzeleanum" Permanent exhibition in Chemnitz

Informations: http://www.naturkunde-chemnitz.de

The permanent exhibition in Chemnitz is a must-see for anyone interested in the Permian. The silicified tree trunks dug from the tuffaceous deposits of the Zeisigwald volcano have got world-wide fame for their excellent preservation, striking colours, and variety of rare plant species. The collection called Sterzeleanum is now housed at the Tietz building, a former warehouse refurbished in 2004. When entering the atrium the visitor is stunned by the aspect of huge trunks. Much more objects worth looking are found in the exhibition above. An impressive audio-visual spectacle of an exploding volcano is attracting attention. In addition to the permanent display, there is always one special exhibition on themes covering biology, mineralogy or palaeontology.

Fossiliferous cherts were already part of the exhibition at the previous location of the Sterzeleanum, the Koenig-Albert-Museum. Many samples of this older chert collection, mainly from the Erzgebirge and Doehlen basins, had been inspected by STERZEL and GEINITZ. Lately, the colection has been extended by fossiliferous cherts from North-West Saxony. A slab of a “maggot stone” of unsurpassed size and beauty, found by W. SCHWARZ in the Doehlen basin, is a special highlight of the exhibition.

Picture: The „Petrified Forest“ of Chemnitz at the atrium of the Tietz building. (Photograph: MfNC).





Municipal Museum Nova Paka

Informations: http://www.novapaka.muzeum.cz

Travellers to the Krkonose region should stop at Nova Paka to have a look at the local museum. The modest building called the Treasury of Gem Stones harbours an uncommon fossil collection from upper Carboniferous/lower Permian of the region. This includes the well-known cherts and tree fragments as well as fishes, insects, plant imprints and animal tracks. Outside of the building there is a case with one of the biggest silicified trunks of Carboniferous age which has been ever found in central Europe. Highly recommendable is also the beautiful agate collection in the separate exhibition. The manufacture of jewelry from precious silicites is a traditional craft in the region.

Silicified stems and cherts are studied extensively in present time and expositions are continuously upgraded. Taking photographs is allowed for fee. These local museum is highly recommendable and may become a place of pilgrimage for those interested in fossiliferous cherts.

Picture: Petrified tree trunk in the exhibtion (Photograph: Museum Nova Paka).





Chalkstone Museum Gummanz on Ruegen island

Informations: http://www.kreidemuseum.de

Those interested in fossiliferous cherts cannot ignore the flintstone, which often is teeming with tiny marine fossils. Originally formed as rugged layers within the chalkstone strata of the Baltic Sea region, it is well known from glazial deposits further south. A seaside holiday on Ruegen is an ideal occasion for inspecting the flint and its fossils. There is no shortage of flints beneath the cliffs despite of lots of people picking them up.

Lately one can get detailed information on Cretaceous fossils on the island. The recently established Chalkstone Museum Gummanz is devoted to flint formation and palaeontology, in addition to chalk mining. Own finds can be compared here with the exhibits, and inexpensive literature for fossil identification is available. As a pleasant side effect, visiting the museum involves walking. So it is a recommendable destination not only for those interested in fossils.

Picture: „The little Koenigsstuhl (King’s seat)" in the disused open chalkstone pit at Gummanz.





Kieseltorf - hands-on display

13. January - 24. February 2008

With the headline „Preserved for Eternity? Petrified Wood and Other”, the little museum of the small town Rabenau presents a small exhibition with big chunks and small pieces of petrified wood and fossiliferous cherts, mainly from Doehlen basin (Lower Permian) near Dresden, Saxony, collected in the last two decades. Explanatory texts are shown along with the samples, also photographs of enlarged details.

The world-famous locality of early terrestrial plants, Rhynie in Scotland, is represented by chert samples, some of which, owing to their quality or sheer size, are unequalled in continental Europe.

Picture: The Stuhlbaumuseum in Rabenau





„Banded Jasper and Petrified Wood“ Temporary exhibition at Mauritianum Altenburg

16. August - 31. December 2007

In the latter years, the gravel pit at Nobitz near Altenburg produced many chert samples, partly with spectacular well preserved fossils. Petrified wood was rather scarce. This temporary exhibition presents specimens from the collection of PETER BAUM, Altenburg.

One gets an impression of the diversity of the still unpublished Lower Permian flora of this location. As an enjoyable fact, the exhibits can be inspected even after closure of the exhibition: Photographs are accessible on computers at the museum.

Picture: Mauritianum at Altenburg






"Blumengebirge - a fossil herbarium" Temporary exhibition in Dresden

28. May 2005 - 22. June 2007

Presently the presentation facilities of the long-established Museum of Mineralogy and Geology Dresden are rather restricted, therefore this temporary exhibition of excellent samples at the representative baroque building “Zwinger” has been highly welcome. Most conspicuous are the plant compressions in the fine-grained white tuffaceous layers from the Lower Permian Doehlen basin, supplemented by reconstructions of trees and creatures.

The exhibits are interesting to the chert fans for comparison with fossils seen inside the cherts. Unique samples of the latter type are also shown, among them the stunningly big and beautiful “maggot stone” found by W. SCHWARZ.

Picture: Official logo of the temporary exhibition of the Museum of Mineralogy and Geology Dresden.





"Charm of Minerals & Perished Forests" Temporary exhibition in Dessau

26. June - 23. October 2005

The permanent exhibition at the museum in Dessau is worth a visit: It offers exhibits covering natural history, prehistory, mineralogy and, particularly remarkable, the fossil presentation in the tower of the house. Every stair leads the visitor upwards through the history of Earth. unfortunately, opening hours of this part of the museum are restricted because of staff shortage.

The temporary exhibition includes several interesting plant axes provided by a collector from Wittenberg and several conspicuous specimens of fossiliferous cherts provided by me, mainly from Saxony and also from the Czech Republik and from Hungary.

Picture: Museum for Natural History and Prehistory Dessau, Askanische Straße.