It is an old acquaintance of our older visitors, who saw the State Museum’s exhibitions in their childhood – over the years the Pfännerhall mammoth has become a visitors’ favourite and secret house logo of the State Museum. It was found in 1953 in the opencast lignite mine near Braunsbedra in the Geisel valley. The skeletal remains were in the uppermost part of the Unstrut gravel and can therefore be classified to the advance phase of the Saale glaciation around 200,000 years ago.
The woolly-haired mammoth – Mammuthus primigenius – is considered to be the key fossil of the last two glacial periods far beyond Central Germany. Today we know that the mammoth was by no means an animal that preferred extreme cold. It always occurred under climatically moderate conditions, too. Nevertheless, it can be regarded as a very good indicator of the cold periods in the Ice Age.