Published on the Original GMS Website and Updated by Webmaster
Martha S. Brown
Here in Atlanta, dig a hole and what do you get....granite, red dirt, minerals, some Civil War artifacts...but no fossils. If you live in Atlanta and want to collect fossils, you must travel. Fortunately, there is an amazing variety of fossils to be found from nearly every geologic time period within a few hours drive of the city. Unfortunately, finding these fossil collecting localities can be difficult.
The single best source of information about collecting sites is the people in your local Rock Club. JOIN ONE TODAY!! In Atlanta, the Georgia Mineral Society has field trips to some outstanding fossil sites. The GMS Fossil Section has regular meetings. If you live outside of Atlanta, most other Gem and Mineral Clubs have fossilers in their membership. If you're lucky you may live near one of the 'pure' Fossil Clubs.
Many collecting sites have been posted on the Web, but these areas may become over-collected quickly. A better source of localities is tucked away in bulletins of the State Geologic Surveys. Some states already have their publications listed on the Web. Or just write for a free list of publications, and mention you're interested in fossil collecting.. sometimes they will send some extra stuff.. Other paleontology journals can be located on-line but the articles of most interest are located in journals in University libraries. Trading copies of these articles with other collectors can be as rewarding as trading fossils!
Once you have decided on where to collect, you may want to check the weather, find a hotel, or check the water level if you're collecting stream banks. You may want to use one of the mapping CD-ROMs to print out detailed maps of your site locations.
Don't forget to abide by the fossil hunters' code of ethics, and be aware of the legalities of what and where you're collecting.
And if you just want to cruise the web, there are some great personal and professional sites out there, and link pages to everywhere else! You may want to do a multi-level internet search on those nagging fossil questions!
Copyright © Georgia Mineral Society, Inc.