Production "Ida Completed" on behalf of Senckenberg

A fossil monkey from the Eocene, 47 million years old. Its name: Ida. Named after the daughter of the Norwegian prehistory researcher Jorn Hurum who discovered the fossil at a market. A sensation, an "asteroid impact for palaeontology", the "eighth wonder of the world", even a "missing link" on the long road to human. This is one side of the coin.

The other: Ida comes from the Messel pit and has a quite dubious pastand is still largely unknown to the public. Excavated illegally in the 1980s, the fossil was then

lost for decades. Ida is of German cultural value ​​and should have stayed in Germany. However, after a roundabout journey it finally came to Oslo. Is there any truth to the hype surrounding the monkey lady from the past?

Our film has two narrative levels. On the one hand there is history. For the first time we reveal the secret by whom Ida was discovered and where she was hidden all these years. Contemporary witnesses get a chance to speak. On the other hand we examine the current research on Ida. One focus is put on scientists atSenckenberg who have examined the fossil monkey with the latest technology .

The narrative levels are connected by a fact which is also only known by a few: Ida has two faces. One more rarely seen fossil plate with the left half of the body of Ida exists. Its story is very mysterious, too. In addition, it provides researchers with new insights into Ida.



World Heritage Messel Pit - The Origin of a Miracle of Nature


An almost circular incision in the landscape, crossed by terraces, about a kilometer long and about seven hundred meter wide. Sixty meters deeper black heaps with slate-like thin stone slabs. Between them treasures of life turned into stone. They talk about the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, when life reorganized after a serious crisis. Their fossilized documents provide eloquent testimony - from the beginning of the Age of Mammals.



The Messel near Darmstadt is one of the most important fossil sites in the world - and it is the only World Heritage Site by UNESCO in Germany. It became famous by its uniquely preserved fossilzed Mammals - ancient horses, lemurs and a huge number of bats.


47 million years ago, the Messel pit was located several hundred kilometers to the west, and 1,300 km south, at about the level of today's Sicily amidst a subtropical-tropical habitat. More than two million years the Eocene lake was a prehistoric collecting tank of the creatures that inhabited its shores. The acuteness of preservation the fossils owe the anoxic depths of the Messel lake and an undisturbedsedimentation.


In their fossilized remains scientists read like in a book. Long ago Messel Research transformed from a purely descriptive science into a branch of research that can best be described as paleo-ecosystem research. Using high-tech equipment, the researchers try to wrench their secrets from the fossils. In a vast geological puzzle they put together the facts and draw a lifelike image of a bygone world of life.