Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Journey Across Disciplines – Fossils Become Archaeological

Short of breath after the climb from the river shore line, the preacher slowly walks toward his two story house, barely visible in the clammy gray fog. Robins, welcome signs of the coming spring, signal his passage. One hand, in the pocket of his waistcoat, fiddles with the objects he had found earlier that morning in the dross that marked the high tide on the river. His daughter Ida would add these gifts to her collection arranged along the mantle piece over the deep fireplace.

A biting wind comes off the distant river and through the woods, stirring up the leaves that are falling in profusion. The young woman has her shoulders slightly hunched as she works with gloved hands through the soil that lines the bottom of her screen. Beside her, a rectangular section of ground lies bare – the early stages of test unit 4. Her hands pause and then she carefully picks out a narrowing spiral of rock, an internal mold of a 60 million year old gastropod, a Turritella. Behind her, leaves blow across the brick foundation of a house, vines encircle the remnants of a double chimney in which wood from the mantle piece is still embedded.

Archaeological Resources Protection Act
Nonfossilized and fossilized paleontological specimens, or any portion or piece thereof, shall not be considered archaeological resources, under the regulations under this paragraph, unless found in an archaeological context. (emphasis added)


This post is inspired by the website about the Chiles Homesite on the Potomac River (link here).

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Edger: I saw your reference to the Chiles Homesite, and I wanted to let you know that BLM Lower Potomac Field Station, Eastern States, has prepared a compilation of the geology and paleontology of the Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) if you are interested in a copy. Lucy Kuizon at


Nature Blog Network