1994 Overview

SUMMARY: An overview of the 1994 excavation at Walcott Quarry. (3:02)

Worker in quarry uses sledgehammer and chisel to split rock
DESCRIPTION: Worker in quarry uses sledgehammer and chisel to split rock

Desmond Collins, former Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum and expedition leader, standing in quarry, speaks to camera
DESCRIPTION: Desmond Collins, former Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum and expedition leader, standing in quarry, speaks to camera

"One of the difficulties this year is we find that the Phyllopod Bed-type lithology, which is dark, silvery stuff, tends to break up into rather small pieces. So we're having difficulty getting large slabs. Walcott had very few large slabs and I've always thought that was poor of him, but I guess we're finding now that this is actually a function of the rock itself. It's very difficult to get large surfaces with lots of fossils on them. The rock tends to break up into smaller pieces."

Workers in quarry clearing rocks
DESCRIPTION: Workers in quarry clearing rocks

"Behind where the guys are working, the rock, the loose material, the talus at the top is material from our excavation of the last two or three years, which has just slid down into the quarry over the winter. Below that, and above the floor where they're shoveling, is a five-feet thickness, and that's debris at the bottom of Walcott's old quarry and this is material which accumulated soon after Walcott left and partly  while he was here. So this is the first time we've exhumed this particular part of Walcott's quarry. And four to five feet above the floor of the present quarry is the solid rock which bears taking away in order to get to the fossil layers."

Des Collins standing in quarry, speaks to camera
DESCRIPTION: Des Collins standing in quarry, speaks to camera

"Overall it looks like it's going to be a good season, we've collected more fossils this year than in any previous season, I think partly because the weather's been very good. We've had six weeks of sunshine, which helps a great deal. This particular day is probably the worst day we've had this summer. But overall, it looks like we're finding new material, plus rare specimens of other species that have yet to be properly described and we should get a much clearer idea of the animals of the Burgess Shale as a result of this season."

worker running down side of mountain
DESCRIPTION: worker running down side of mountain

workers sitting in camp in evening
DESCRIPTION: workers sitting in camp in evening

later in evening, shadows lengthen as workers talk
DESCRIPTION: later in evening, shadows lengthen as workers talk

young child plays with fossil storage can
DESCRIPTION: young child plays with fossil storage can

Video © Canadian Wilderness Video Productions