DESSAU-ROSSLAU: Museum of Natural History and Prehistory—Paleontological Collection

  • Angelika HesseEmail author
Part of the Natural History Collections book series (NHC)


The paleontological collection of the Museum of Natural History and Prehistory.

Dessau (MNVD), was founded as the Anhaltische Geologische Landessammlung in 1864. Today it has 50,500 fossils, 3400 amber inclusions and 120 kg of amber in total.

Main objects of the collection are Bitterfeld amber, till fossils from the former Anhalt area, Mesozoic fossils from the foothills of the Harz mountains, Tertiary woods from the lignite mining region between Leipzig and Bitterfeld, early Tertiary microorganisms from the former Anhalt area and from Magdeburg, as well as late Tertiary molluscs from Northern Italy. National and international research is undertaken covering different objects from across the Museum’s collection, for example Lepidoptera found in Bitterfeld amber, Tertiary woods from Central Germany, Buntsandstein-amphibians from Bernburg, an early Tertiary turtle from the Elbe near Dessau, and a Pleistocene forest rhinoceros from the Sewecken Mountains near Quedlinburg. Microfossils of the early Tertiary collection, inclusions of the Bitterfeld amber collection and Cenozoic molars are scientifically investigated, described and taxonomically classified in Bachelor and Master theses at several universities. Guided tours through the collection are possible on request at any time. In exhibitions of the MNVD, museum interested visitors get an insight into the paleontological development of the Dessau-Rossßlau region from the Carboniferous pPeriodAge to the Pleistocene pPeriodAge. Furthermore the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates is also exhibited in the mMmuseum tower; an important and highly relevant destination for schools and other interested parties or individuals.


Bitterfeld Amber Till fossils Harz Tertiary wood Lignite 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum of Natural History and PrehistoryDessau-RosslauGermany

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