Carmel Church Day 5

Today was our final day with any significant digging. After Brett and Tim left yesterday*, there were only four of us left to dig, but we still managed to get two top jackets finished before lunch. Above, Laura is doing the undercut for our first jacket (which has the field number CCQ-2011-01) while Joe and Jordan try to complete the trench on the second jacket. Here’s a closeup of the second jacket, with a couple of vertebrae visible:

Working on jacket 2:

In the afternoon we were able to flip the first two jackets, and then made tops for two additional jackets:

Tomorrow I have to return to the site to do some final cleanup and to load some of the jackets, but all the digging is finished. All in all this has been a quite successful excavation. Even though we didn’t get any substantial whale material (10 vertebra and several ribs isn’t much for Carmel Church), we recovered a lot of good fish material and, of course, a rare land mammal.


*Brett and Tim would have normally been here through the end of the excavation, but they had to drive to Lexington so Tim could compete in the Virginia Classic Llama and Alpaca Show. I had hoped to go to the show but there was no way to complete the excavation in time. While we were plastering the last two jackets Brett sent a text to let me know that Tim was named Grand Champion in the Alpaca Intermediate Division. Congratulations Tim!

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3 Responses to Carmel Church Day 5

  1. DB says:

    You are rock stars! Sorry to not be there, but coming back was a good thing. I am sick! Congrats to Tim, alpaca king. :0)

  2. 220mya says:

    Are there any pubs out there on Carmel Church that have a good overview of the geology of the locality? I found Christina Byrd’s recent GSA abstract, but most of the paleontological papers focus on descriptive/systematic issues.

  3. Alton Dooley says:

    @220mya: Not really, at least not yet. The only paper on Carmel Church that I wasn’t an author on was Marr and Ward, 1986 in Virginia Minerals, but that paper looked at a section in a different part of the quarry and is rather out of date (the Calvert and St Marys Fms hadn’t been recognized at the quarry at that time, and may not have extended to the area they were working).

    There is a more recent section included in Dooley et al. 2004 (JVP), but the geology is only mentioned in passing and even then I’m not sure we knew yet about the St. Marys.

    I’ve been thinking recently that we need to publish a more detailed geologic paper, even if it’s just preliminary and descriptive. Part of that will probably be included in Christina’s work, which we may develop into a full paper.

    Until then, about the only other things on Carmel Church geology that available are these blog posts, which of course are very general and not peer-reviewed.

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