Walcott artifacts

SUMMARY: Jean-Bernard Caron, Curator of invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, shows off a small collection of objects left by Charles Walcott in the field and discovered by later ROM field parties. (2:38)

Introducing the objects
DESCRIPTION: Introducing the objects

"So when the ROM collected specimens from the Burgess Shale, and went back to the Walcott Quarry, they discovered many artifacts that were left by Walcott himself. Not only in the quarry, but also in his camp. So here are some objects that are presented in front of you and two of these objects were found in the Walcott Quarry itself under piles of rubble that were removed by the ROM crews."

A block of newspapers from 1916, used to pack fossils
DESCRIPTION: A block of newspapers from 1916, used to pack fossils

"This particular artifact is a pile of newspaper that was found in a frozen block of ice under a large block of rock at the bottom of the quarry itself in 1995. And it's amazing because many of these newspapers are actually from Walcott's time. This one is dated from 1916 and is called The Morning Star. It is a newspaper from Washington [D.C.]. So clearly we have evidence here of Walcott's work. He left piles of newspapers, he probably used these newspapers to pack his specimens back to Washington."

Leather work glove
DESCRIPTION: Leather work glove

"Here is a glove, a single glove, leather glove that is actually more a trapper glove with three digits. And this is a relatively small size, it is very thick leather, and is presumably from someone very small. The shales are very sharp, and it's necessary to wear these gloves in order to avoid being cut. And this was probably left alone after the season or maybe lost."

Photos of Walcott's field camp
DESCRIPTION: Photos of Walcott's field camp

"Other artifacts were found in Walcott's camp itself. At the time, even though Yoho National Park existed, the rules about cleaning up were not exactly the same as today. So it's actually great for archeologists today. We can actually study what Walcott used and ate at the time,"

Household objects from Walcott's camp
DESCRIPTION: Household objects from Walcott's camp

"This is just a selection, a small selection of artifacts that were collected in his camp. And you have various things here from a wine bottle to probably a jar of yogourt or milk, you have a teacup, and a large water jug here. A view of Walcott in his camp showing some of the tools, we also found some tools, small chisels in particular, in Walcott's Quarry."

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