Quarry Map

One thing on display at the Carnegie was something I’d never seen before – a complete quarry map for a major dinosaurian bone bed that yielded numerous fossils. Here they all were, catalogued, labelled, and colour coded, and with reconstructions of the animals (at the time) put below. This was part of  much wider series of signs about the history of excavation of the Morrison and recovery of dinosaur material (including those in the exhibition halls below – this is on a balcony overlooking the Jurassic section) which couldn’t really be photographed becasue of the layout. Still, it was very good (as far as I could tell, I didn’t have time to read it all sadly, but what I saw was detailed, interesting, well written and well illustrated) and it was nice to see a sign with real detail – this is something, if you had the time and motivation, you could read for probably 20 minutes and learn a great deal, and it’s nice that you *can* do that, even if few people ever will (though i appreciate it’s position is near perfect, out of the way enough that several people really reading the whole thing won’t obstruct the crowds where it would in other places).

It is, of course, also nice to put a historical spin on things, though again the Carnegie collection has rather more history than many collections thus in part perhaps why this works so well here. It’s easy for us to focus on the science when it comes to science in a science museum (and you can see why!) but there are other aspects to our field like history. It’s worth remembering that other people may be interested in things like this, and it can be a window to drawn them into the subject and get them more interested and involved when otherwise they might not.

9 Responses to “Quarry Map”


  1. 1 Heinrich Mallison 29/11/2011 at 9:38 am

    Weren’t you at Aathal at the FOR533 meeting a few years back? They do these maps as well in their displays :) In fact, the “private” museum in Aathal makes better maps in the field then many “public” institutions, which is why they have something to show.

    As always, putting such a quarry map is a delicate balancing act: too much on it means people will “flood” and not read, too little and you waste a great opportunity to teach people. I have a “bring it on” mentality, and want to read, read, read. Others want just one sentence.

  2. 5 220mya 29/11/2011 at 6:21 pm

    Our new exhibits at the Natural History Museum of Utah feature a complete color-coded quarry map of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry as well.

    • 6 Heinrich Mallison 29/11/2011 at 7:55 pm

      Cool! Now, if you put a short video of a real dig with it you will see a lot of laypeople (especially members of the press) stare mouth agape!

      “What, they do not find them all fully articulated in the act of fighting/sleeping/mating/drinking/eating/running-for-their-lives by brushing sand off a rock?”


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