tri FOSSILART   2013 tri

This is an unusual exhibition. It is an exhibition of traces made by life throughout the years. Traces which have survived hundreds of millions of years and which have been found by accident or by deliberately searching the right localities. Some of the examples are traces which have challenged the current knowledge about the origin of life, some have documented current theories. All of them are the most impressive examples of its kind and may be viewed as pieces of art by an audience without any further interest in this field of research. Or it may be seen as a fascinating illustration of the mysterious behaviour of ancient biological creatures from bacteria to worms and scorpions to the footprints of dinosauers and humans.
Theses traces have been investigated and interpreted by the world famous Dr. A. Seilacher. The castings are made by Hans Lüginsland, the casting expert at Tübingen University.

In 1992 Dr. Seilacher received the highly estimated Crafoord price from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science for his work with traces of early life. Since the 1960's Dr.Seilacher had been known as thee expert of ichnology (study of traces9 due to his classifications of traces which became a useful  tool for geologists and the oil industry particularly.  Associating traces with palaeo environments was particularly useful for the interpretation of sedimentary sequences, but also the stratigraphic applications were valuable. A wealth of details about ancient life was revealed by Seilachers  minute and thorough descriptions and interpretations as shown in the catalogue following the exhibition and in some of the descriptions on this web page..
The Crafoord price made it possible for Dr.Seilacher to fulfill his dream of bringing these traces and stories out to a larger audience by establishing a travelling exhibition of the most extrordinary examples. It started out with four small panels showing indirect evidence of life in the form of impossible sedimentary structures which indicated the former presence of algae mats more than a billion years old. Continuously adding new spectacular traces to the collection has expanded the exhibition to its present size now comprizing approximately 40 casts. The exhibition has travelled from USA to Tokyo to Brasil and Portugal and is presently on show in the Nordic countries.
And Dr.A.Seilacher and his team are still travelling to the most remote places of the world if needed to have another cast made of an impressive trace of ancient life. The original traces stay in nature while the negative casts are brought back to Tübingen University where the final positive cast is made in Hans Lüginslands workshop.

Billede af Seilacher
Dr. Seilacher

I first met Dr.Seilacher in Geneve international airport in 1995 on my way to a geology conference in North Africa. I shook hand with a man who presented himself as "Seilacher". I asked him whether he should know the famous ichnologist Dr. A.Seilacher ? - "There is only one Seilacher" was the answer. But he, if any, has certainly no reason to hide his light under a bushel. 

The team behind the collection

The life conditions on Earth have always varied. The idea of "nature in balance" seem to be slightly theoretical as large variations have occurred continuously in the chemical content of the athmosphere, in temperature, the ocean currents, and in the sea water level and the position of continents just to mention some of the more drastic changes. Rather than being in balance the earth seems to undergo constant change. Despite - or because of - this , life has been able to develope and survive for hundreds of millions of years. The traces are evidence for this.

Tids og temepratur skala
       Time scale and temperature variations
from cirka -15 til +15 C relative to average
               We are living in a cold period

"Fossil Art" is the result of Dr.Seilachers lifelong research in traces of life from the last 2 000 000 000 years.
The exhibition shows the first traces of uni celled organisms' influence on sediments, examples from the mysterious era "Ediacara" which existed after a complete freezing of the earth to one big snowball, before the Cambrian explosion
540 mill years ago when all present life was created during a geologically astonishing short moment, the first traces on land, dinosauer footprints and many more impressive traces.

The exhibition was shown in Denmark in 2006. It was brought to the Nordic countries by Claus Beyer who met Dr.Seilacher for the first time on a field trip in southern Libya in 1995. At a later conference in Tripoli it was agreed to get the exhibition to Scandinavia where it was shown the next couple of years before it continued to eastern Europe and later western Europe before hopefully going to Australia and New Zealand in connection with the 34th world geological congress in 2012.

Meeting in Tripoli 2000.

Fossil Art calender:

2004 Brazil

2005 Portugal

Naturhistorisk Museum i Århus from 10.januar until 15.april

Norsk Oljemuseum Norsk OliemuseumStavanger from 1.maj until 1.juli

Oplevelsescenteret Åkirkeby on Bornholm from 15. juli until 25.september      E.Cambrian sst.

Geologisk Museum København from 5.oktober until 15.marts 2007


Geologisk Museum København until 15. marts

Universitetet i Lund, Sverige from 30.marts until 30.april

Bergen Museum, Norge from 10.maj until 10.september 

Palace of Culture   Warszawa 15th of January  until 5th of May

Jura Park, Solec-Kujawski       10th of May until 22nd of July

33IGC world geological conference in Oslo  5th of August until 20th of August
ICHNIA  CracowKrakow 1st of September until 1st of October

Muzeul National de Geologie Bucaresti, Romania, 5th of October until 15th of January 2009

Muzeul National de Geologie Bucaresti, January
Croatian Natural History Museum, Zagreb, Croatia, June-Juli

Rijeka, Croatia, August-September

Midt-Sønderjyllands Museum, Gram MuseumGram, Danmark

2010  Granda Spain, Granada
January 29th-February-April 29th

Oviedo Spain: 21st of May - 21st of August
University of Oviedo                         OVIEDO

2011: October 2011-May 2012 :                                Kiel


                Universität Kiel
                Geologisches und Mineralogisches Museum
                24118 Kiel

2012   June 24th - September 14th: Danmark, Skive Museum

November 2012 - May 2013:  Schweitz, Zürich:
Focus Terra at  ETH in Zürich


  ETH  poster for Fossil Art


<>overview during mounting

Trilobiten spurenIllustration model of Trilobite traces

Models of Trilobite traces and explanation in brail for blind persons



2013 June-December: Germany, Senckenberg Museum in Dresden from May

C.Beyer Claus Beyer ,Geologist, cand scient. from Århus Universitet 1987 For further information about Fossil-Art, please, contact:
Comments and criticism to this adress, please, write to:            
Norway :  Tlf +47 97 58 08 24
Denmark: Tlf +45 86 95 27 95 fax +45 86 95 28 95

<>  book  In English                        Sponsor for the book is Wacker Chemie
The book may be ordered from:     price 20 euro
Payment: by Paypal to

<>Deutsch In deutsch
A German version of the book is now available. 5 more fossils have been added - price 28 Euro

The book is sold by Schweitzerbart Science publications and may be ordered on their web page:

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