The Dinosaur Doctor of Lewes and the Fossil that Changed the World

In 1822 a young Doctor and his wife discovered a small unassuming fossil in the Sussex countryside. Piecing together further fragments of unidentified fossils he deduced that the Earth was once inhabited by giant reptiles and that these magnificent beasts had once roamed the downs of Sussex.

He went on to discover and name the first of these creatures, the Iguanodon. By doing so he established the Age of Reptiles. Today we accept that dinosaurs ruled the planet but a hundred years ago his theories were contentious.

Although Mantell went on to achieve great acclaim in his research his life was dogged by academic rivalry, family tragedies, personal illness and finally an accident that would threaten his very being. The paleontological world owes a huge debt to Mantell but only now are we beginning to recognise his enormous contribution to science. This lecture sets out to readdress the balance and introduces the listener to a World of dinosaurs, dirty deeds and deception.

The 2019 Gideon Mantell Birthday Memorial Lecture was held on Thursday 7th February 2019 7.30pm at Lewes Town Hall upstairs lecture room off Fisher Street, Lewes. Delivered by Ray Hale, specialist in wildlife lectures and educational displays. The talk was entitled Gideon Mantell: The Dinosaur Doctor of Lewes and the Fossil that Changed the World

On the same theme ….

News of a new play in London on the life of Mantell – Dinomania

165 million years ago, an iguanodon is killed in the heart of a rainforest. Time passes, the rainforest becomes the South Downs, and every part of the iguanodon degrades and disappears – except one tooth. 197 years ago, in safe, affluent 1820s Sussex, a country doctor finds the tooth. But where does it fit in the story of an earth created by God just 6,000 years ago? Dinomania is a story of scientific endeavour, bitter rivalry and terrible lizards.

This production is supported by Arts Council England, the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, the Unity Theatre Trust, The Dischma Charitable Trust, The Geological Society and Theatre Arts at London Metropolitan University. This production is suitable for 14+

Dinomania is at the New Diorama Theatre in London from 19 February to 23 March


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