FarWest Geoscience Foundation

Paleobotanical Field Trip To Sailor Flat, California

Participants in the paleobotanical dig assemble to hear group leader David Lawler (facing camera, at left-center of image) spell out the "rules of engagement." We were there to help uncover Middle Eocene fossil plants from so-called chocolate shale deposits in auriferous (gold-bearing) gravels left behind at the Sailor Flat hydraulic mine when gold seekers of the mid to late 1800s laid bare mile after mile of terrain in the northern Mother Lode of California while in search of the precious metal. All significant specimens went to the archival paleobotanical collections at the University California Museum of Paleontology.

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