How have humans interacted with and understood extinct animals? This is a question which motivates a large amount of Dr. Chris Manias’ work, which examines the history and cultural role of palaeontology and related subjects, most notably through his recent book, The Age of Mammals: Nature, Development and Paleontology in the Long Nineteenth Century (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023) and through the Popularizing Palaeontology: Current and Historical Perspectives research network (active since 2016)
Here are some objects related to how people have engaged with one of the most iconic fossil animals – the woolly mammoth – in a variety of different periods. These include:
- A mammoth molar tooth
- Woolly mammoth model, produced by Invicta (1975)
- A plaster reproduction of the “Mammoth of La Madeleine,” a Palaeolithic carving on mammoth ivory dating to around 14,000 years ago. The original object was excavated in France in 1864 and was crucial for documenting that humans lived alongside these animals
- An article on “Animals of the Primeval World” from Das Pfennig-Magazin, 25 May 1837, featuring an early reconstruction of a mammoth
- Martin Keen, The How and Why Wonder Book of Prehistoric Mammals (1968), in which mammoths feature prominently o Woolly mammoth model, produced by Invicta for the London Natural History Museum (1975)
To find out more about the Cabinet and other objects on display, click here.