Carmel Church wrap-up

We finished up our second Carmel Church excavation of 2010 on Sunday, with the completion of our last two jackets, shown above just before they were flipped. These were our fourth and fifth jackets of the trip. We unloaded them at the museum this morning.

After flipping the jackets, we found another excellent example of Miocene burrows cutting into the underlying Eocene Nanjemoy Formation, which forms the base sediment in the image below:

This was one of the hottest, sweatiest, and dirtiest excavations we’ve ever had at Carmel Church, with multiple days over 100 degrees F (1991 rivaled it, but that was in July and August instead of June). In spite of the rough conditions, we had a large crew that spent multiple days on site, and I’d like to thank Brett, Tim, Brooke, DB, Rich, Judi, Christina, Piper, Christa, Sam, Bryan, Mike, Josh, Liz, Claiborne, Caroline, Amelia, Sebastian, Ron, Carter, Nancy, Linda, Doug, Jeanne, and Florence for their perseverance under adverse conditions.

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5 Responses to Carmel Church wrap-up

  1. mike morriss says:

    i am glad you made it back.
    was worried with all of those jackets,
    am i “assuming” that they made it in one piece?

    it is always fun and exciting at Carmel Church.
    you never know what you are going to find and
    how much work it is going to take to get it out.

    thanks for having us

  2. Shrieking Denizen says:

    Did you wish you had hypercarnivorous whales at Carmel? I think it’s a little hyperbolic…
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/leviathan_melvillei/

  3. Alton Dooley says:

    Thanks, Mike.

    SD, we do have a hypercarnivorous whale at Carmel Church, in the St. Marys Formation, but it has not yet been described (and it’s less than 1/3 the size of the Peruvian taxon, which had a 3-meter-long skull).

    There is a very large hypercarnivorous sperm whale in the upper Calvert Formation–the Rappahannock River whale we collected a couple of years ago (check the archives for photos). It’s also undescribed, and not yet completely prepared, but it had a skull length around 2 meters; it was one of the largest whales in the Calvert Formation.

  4. Shrieking Denizen says:

    W0w, the number and variety of critters at that site is amazing.

  5. Alton Dooley says:

    It’s definitely proved to be worth my time so far!

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