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Stille Giganten – Ein Leben für die Dinosaurier

110 years ago the palaeontologist Werner Janensch, born in Herzberg (Elster), set out on an expedition to the Tendaguru Mountain in present-day Tanzania. In one of the largest dinosaur deposits in the world, he and his research team discovered numerous new dinosaur species. The probably most famous find is the skeleton of a Brachiosaurus brancai (new scientific name Giraffatitan brancai), which can be admired in the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Who was the researcher Werner Janensch? What connects him to the small town of Herzberg in southern Brandenburg? What was everyday excavation life like over 100 years ago and how did the finds come to Berlin? What were the findings of the expedition? The city of Herzberg and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin are investigating these questions. The exhibition was scientifically led by the historian Dr. Mario Huth. Through his findings and research, it was possible to shed light on the private life of this quiet researcher who is dedicated entirely to science. The exhibition also presents previously unpublished correspondence and working documents by Janensch, including correspondence between the excavation camp at Tendaguru and Berlin. The expedition to East Africa, which is so important for science, is another focus of the exhibition.


„Stille Giganten – Ein Leben für die Dinosaurier“

Duration: 26.10.2019 until 26.04.2020 in the citizen centre Herzberg (Elster), Uferstraße 6

04916 Herzberg. Admission is free.

Opening hours: Monday, Thursday: 09:00-16:00 o'clock Tuesday, Friday: 09:00-18:00 o'clock, Saturday: 10:00-13:00 o'clock, every 1st Saturday of the month 10:00-17:00 o'clock


As part of a three-year joint project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, a book on the history of Brachiosaurus brancai was published. The partners in the project were the Institute for Art Studies and Historical Urban Studies at the Technical University of Berlin, the Seminar for African Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.


Zur Geschichte der Tendaguru-Expedition und ihrer Objekte, 1906 - 2018

Ina Heumann, Holger Stoecker and Mareike Vennen

Wallstein Verlag GmbH 2018, ISBN 978-3-8353-3253-9

For 26,90 Euro available in bookshops and in the shop of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin