Tickets to special viewing of “Ice Age 2” on sale Monday at State Historical Museum

For immediate release March 17, 2006



Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum’s 16,000-year-old woolly Mammoth will welcome Manny the Mammoth to Des Moines in a few weeks when “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown,” featuring the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizoma, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and Jay Leno, opens at the Merle Hay Mall Cinema.

The theater will present a special viewing of the movie at 10 a.m., April 1, as a fundraiser for the State Historical Society of Iowa. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling 515-283-1757 or at the State Historical Building’s gift store, 600 E. Locust in Des Moines. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can also be purchased at the Merle Hay Mall Cinema in advance or at the door. The theater is located behind the Merle Hay Mall at 3800 Merle Hay Road. A portion of the proceeds benefit the State Historical Society of Iowa.

From 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” features Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) in another incredible adventure. As the Ice Age is coming to an end, the animals are delighting in their new world: a melting paradise of water parks, geysers and tar pits. But when Manny, Sid and Diego discover that the miles of melted ice will flood their valley, they must warn everyone and somehow figure out a way to escape the coming deluge.

Additionally, on April 8 and 15, parents, grandparents, children and other Ice Age movie and mammoth fans are invited to “Ice Age Saturday,” a celebration of the museum’s biggest exhibit ever: “Mammoth: Witness to Change,” which features the 16,000-year-old Hebior Mammoth discovered in Wisconsin and mammoth bones discovered at a construction site in Des Moines in 2001.

Fun-filled activities for the entire family will include learning the “Mammoth March” with professional dancer Janice Baker and the story of an ice boy and his family from professional storytellers. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling the museum gift store at 515-283-1757 or at the door. The program will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. on both days. Proceeds benefit the State Historical Society of Iowa.

While “Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” breathes animated life into story of the woolly mammoth, the behemoth has come to symbolize the last Ice Age and the arrival of humans in the Western Hemisphere. Here in Iowa, mammoth bones have been unearthed in the daily activities of Iowans tilling the land, excavating for buildings and bridges, or merely walking along creeks and streams. Finding mammoth bones reminds us that change is ever present.

Remains of both woolly mammoths and Columbian mammoths have been found in Iowa, but sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which. Bones and teeth of the two species are similar and there are individual variations within each species.

The Historical Museum’s Hebior mammoth died about 16,000 years ago in a small depression or pond not far from Lake Michigan in southeastern Wisconsin. Its body decomposed and wetland sediment settled over it.

In 1994, farmer John Hebior discovered the bones when he was digging a drainage ditch across an old pond. A team of archeologists led by David Overstreet excavated the site.

What they found startled many archeologists. Here was the most complete mammoth skeleton found to date in the Upper Midwest. Ninety percent of the bones were still there. Even more astounding was the discovery of stone tools and butchering marks on some of the bones, making this one of the earliest known butchering sites in North America.

Later, in 2001, workers digging 55 feet down through bedrock at an Allied Insurance construction site in Des Moines unearthed the skeleton of a mammoth lying on the floor of the Raccoon River valley.

The construction workers recognized the significance of the discovery and notified the executives of Allied Insurance. They, in turn, contacted the State Historical Society of Iowa for assistance and later donated the bones to the museum.

A small sample of the bone was sent to Stafford Research Laboratories, Inc., in Colorado, for radiocarbon dating. The bones were dated at 16,500 BP (before present).

These bones, and those of the Hebior mammoth, are on display at the State Historical Museum.

The State Historical Museum is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.


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