Geosciences and raw materials
This part of the exhibition is concerned with the history and structure of different types of mineral deposit. The visitor learns, for example, why plate tectonics is an important factor in the formation of deposits, or what the world looked like in the Carboniferous era, in which our local hard coal deposits were formed.
Numerous original objects from the fields of geology, mineralogy and palaeontology will take you on a journey through geological history, and give you a whole new sense of time and space.
Minerals from Transylvania
The Carpathian Basin and the mountains of the Carpathian Arc in Transylvania (Romania) contain an abundance of ore deposits with gold, silver, copper and other metals. These deposits have become famous not just for the wealth of gold in the so-called “Golden Square”, but also for the unusual minerals and magnificent crystals found here. In 1992 the DBM was able to acquire the Krotky collection (Reit im Winkel). A small separate exhibition was established for the most beautiful specimens.
Deposits and raw materials
The exhibition shows the formation and structure of deposits of important mineral raw materials. Sometimes non-descript, but often fascinatingly beautiful, the pieces on display give an impression of the raw materials that form the basis of many products in our everyday lives. The main focus is on deposits of iron, copper, lead and tin ore, and on potash and rock salt. Deposits of many other metals are also shown, e.g. manganese, tungsten, tin, silver, antimony, nickel, titanium, and many more. Visitors can also feast their eyes on rock gold, gold and platinum nuggets, and precious stones and diamonds. European mineral deposits are also shown in smaller sections of the exhibition.
The petrified tree
The largest fossil in the museum weighs over seven tonnes and is about 300 million years old. This is the remains of a massive, densely rooted Sigillaria trunk from the hard coal strata of the former Piesberg mine near Osnabrück.
Minerals are some of the most fascinating things created by nature. Few can resist their fascination. The beautiful shapes and colours of the crystals and mineral formations, many of which could be mistaken for works of art, amaze and delight our visitors.
Taxonomy of minerals
Two rooms house our extensive display of minerals, which are divided into 9 classes of minerals according to the older classification system devised by Hugo Strunz. While collections are often organized by criteria such as the region where the exhibit was found, the type of mineral, the shape of the crystals etc., mineralogical taxonomy is based on the chemical composition and the structure of the crystals.
Minerals and fossils of the Ruhr
Here you’ll discover magnificent ore and mineral specimens found in mines in the Ruhr. Fist-sized galena crystals, calcite and barite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrite and other minerals attest to the ore extraction that took place in mines such as the Auguste Victoria mine in Marl. The exhibition also shows plant and animal fossils from the hard coal strata of the Late Carboniferous and from the overlying Late Cretaceous strata. Sigillaria, Lepidodendron (‘scale trees’), horsetails and ferns formed the basis for the hard coal seams. Intermittent flooding by rivers and seas brought animals, whose remains have sometimes been preserved as well. On display here are bivalves, crustaceans, brachiopods, fish, arachnids and other animals. The large ammonites, fish, huge bivalves, shark teeth, sea urchins and other creatures come from the Late Cretaceous layers. They show that the Ruhr was covered by the sea about 100 million years ago.