Jet set

The photograph shows a specimen of “jet” – although shown in it’s rough state below, jet can be polished like a gemstone, after which it takes on a deep black shine – this is where we get the phrase “Jet black”. Polished jet jewellery became very popular during the later part of the reign of [...]

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The Barr Trilobite – a local celebrity

“This remarkable crustacean has been hitherto known in England as the Barr Trilobite, having been found at the Hay Head lime works, near the village and beacon of Barr in Staffordshire” The Silurian System, Roderick Murchison As new kinds of animals, both living and extinct, are discovered, scientists attempt to classify them according to their [...]

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Faking it? An unusual trilobite at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

A look through the Dr Fraser Collection reveals an unusual trilobite specimen – it is not quite like anything illustrated in any of the textbooks. Could it be a new species, lain undiscovered and undescribed for a century or more? Sadly not, but the real story behind the specimen is every bit as interesting. We [...]

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Dudley down under

This is an extract from the Black Country Geological Society newsletter, October 2010. Sorting out the loft turns up some interesting things, and in my case files of old geological leaflets, notes and letters. One email I recently discovered related to my interest in the final destinations of superb Silurian fossils originating in Dudley, mostly [...]

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Stuck in the Mud!

On Saturday 28th January the Black Country Geological Society headed south for a chilly fieldtrip to two fossil rich quarries in the Cotswolds. The geologists gathered excitedly at the first quarry, where Dr Neville Hollingworth was waiting to brief us about the local geology and what wonders we may find. Finally everyone arrived and I anxiously listened [...]

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My fossil hunting trip to Lyme Regis

The first time I ever visited Lyme Regis was in the summer of 2007. I packed my bag with the mush have essentials for fossil hunting; hand lens, chisel, hammer and sample bags. First we visited the beach to the right of Lyme Regis. Immediately upon arriving at the beach fossils began catching my eye [...]

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Riddle of the shells

This is an extract from the newsletter of The ‘Black Country Geological Society‘, No. 201 June 2010. This was part of the regular section entitled ‘The Dudley Bug’ written by members Alison Roberts and Chris Broughton. During April 2010, as part of a KITTS graduate training placement at Dudley Museum we visited the Wrens Nest to see what are the [...]

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Siluria Revisited 2011

Last week, I attended the International Subcommission on Silurian Stratigraphy Conference in Ludlow, Shropshire.  This is where geologists from around the globe share their research and knowledge on the Silurian Geological Period. But my Silurian story began two years ago… In the summer of 2009, stabilisation works took place within the Step Shaft Mine beneath [...]

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Looking after your fossil collection

Graham Worton, the Keeper of Geology at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, talks about how to look after your fossil collection because each specimen is unique and can’t be replaced. He explains what information to keep with specimens and how to store them correctly.

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A day in the life of a geologist

Back in February I was invited on a fossil hunting trip with students from my old university; the University of Birmingham. The trip was organised by ‘Lapsoc’, which is the geology department’s student society. With the opportunity of getting muddy in the quarries beckoning I was quick to agree. After a typical student minibus journey [...]

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