The landscape of northern Germany was only shaped during the last two ice ages. Glaciers up to 3,000 metres high changed the earth's surface like giant bulldozers. They accumulated hilly landscapes like the Harburg Mountains, formed river valleys, and shaped coasts. They also pushed huge amounts of sand, debris, and rocks in front of them, which they had eroded in their region of origin, Scandinavia.
The largest of these boulders have a diameter of one to two metres and are called erratic blocks. Some of them weigh up to 300 tonnes. In front of the museum lies such a boulder, which weighs 30 tonnes.
When the glaciers slowly melted 14,000 years ago, they shaped the landscape once again: the meltwater caused the sea level to rise; new coastlines formed, and at the same time numerous new lakes, streams and bogs were created inland.