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New Miocene site


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Hello everyone,

 

two weeks ago I went for a short fossil hunting trip - first a Devonian location, which I believe I have already presented, then the Silurian one - also reported before. The last place was a Miocene site that I have never visited before. It's called Smerdyna and is referred to locally as a "little grand canyon" :)

As you can see on the map, it streches for more than 3 km - it's like a huge crack in the middle of flat land:

image.png.6beed121f6cb43b5adb059cfc9164e6c.png

 

From the ground level it looks like this:

image.png.91b5236cc8502e6ec08e5d51cbec614b.png

image.png.22f0099e940a4da39301fb01b36e9065.png


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once you get to the bottom, you can pass from one pit to the next

 

image.png.398c4907f203ab9784b477c52a56394b.png

image.png.e84ff2f6c5d8d70ec05cd7db69b311ef.png

image.png.ba16062ed8a1d18baafb58595760726a.png

 

The stuff you can find inside is a little misleading, because there are a lot of snails and bones - but unfortunately recent :)

 

 

 

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image.png.56f42e472642ce7a1f4d4ca84a2baf57.png

 

I was told that in some of the yellow sandstones one can (rarely) find even some flora:

image.png.8bb0a7c0d59f760f8522b11dd450fc32.png

 

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image.png.974bc7574e92d71424d05869c9308e6d.png

image.png.512e1076c45702037fcb247c4e376f71.png

 

image.png.ee7bd9aff3fba6b42efbb43124c6b4cc.png

 

image.png.d9dd2bfc3c6dc24fc22c25db4bddb82e.png

 

It's not as varied as Korytnica, but still it was interesting to walk there and see the little Grand Canyon :)

 

 

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Thanks for sharing, looks like a fun place to explore! I especially like the darker shells, those are really cool.

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35 minutes ago, FranzBernhard said:

Nice! Thanks for sharing!

Is this a former lignite mine?

Franz Bernhard

Hi,

no - it's a sort of a local quarry. Most of the pits are owned by private individuals and they still excavate the stones and use them for some constructions and scupltures. I have read that the pits have already been there 100 years ago.

Kasia

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Nice field report, Kasia, great pics.

Pretty decent lot of bivalves too. :)

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13 minutes ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

Nice field report, Kasia, great pics.

Pretty decent lot of bivalves too. :)

Thanks - we were really lucky to have this sort of weather in November :fingerscrossed: 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank goodness Monica responded or I would have missed this post! Great photos of the site. And nice finds!! One question for you based on the photography. In your first photo, the farm fields are long in length and very skinny in width. Locally in Minnesota, it seems like square is best as I drive through the countryside. Is this the Polish farmer's typical way of planting? 

 

Mike

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On 11/28/2020 at 1:42 PM, Kasia said:

Hi,

no - it's a sort of a local quarry. Most of the pits are owned by private individuals and they still excavate the stones and use them for some constructions and scupltures. I have read that the pits have already been there 100 years ago.

Kasia

Kasia,

Thanks for sharing.  What an amazing place!!!! I can not help but thinking in my country we would have all sorts of barb wire, no trespassing signs, threats of prosecution, etc for any location that looks as fun to explore and as potentially dangerous as this one.

 

You are fortunate. 

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2 hours ago, minnbuckeye said:

Thank goodness Monica responded or I would have missed this post! Great photos of the site. And nice finds!! One question for you based on the photography. In your first photo, the farm fields are long in length and very skinny in width. Locally in Minnesota, it seems like square is best as I drive through the countryside. Is this the Polish farmer's typical way of planting? 

 

Mike

Hi Mike,

I must admit I had no idea what is the reason for such shape of fields - for me the landscape is so normal that I have never even thought about it :) But - when I read your question, I did some research and found such explanation: in the times when land was owned by the king/ nobility, they usually divided the land among their vassals - and they in turn divided it further among peasants, who worked on such separate fields and had the right to retain a small part of the yield to maintain the family, and the remaining yield was delivered to the land owner. In Poland that sort of landscape is called "land checkerboard". When the political system in Poland changed and the peasants were freed, the land was given to the villages, but still the properties of individual peasants did not lie in one piece near their house, but were divided into a larger number of plots, usually long and narrow, scattered over a large area and divided by plots of land from various other owners.

In the communist times the state tried to merge as many of such small farms into huge state-owned farms as possible, but the communist experiment on the nation ended in misery, as we know, and the land returned to individual farmers.

Today the "patchwork" of fields is mainly the result of the fragmentation of farms and their dispersion, which is progressing as a result of the division of the original large areas of land owned by one owner. Division may occur, for example, as a result of an inheritance divided into many heirs, division by donation or by the sale of a part of the land.

In the mountains such shape additionally prevents the erosion of land - and this site is in the Holy Cross Mountains region :)

 

I hope it explains a bit the look of the fields :)

 

Regards,

 

Kasia

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1 hour ago, Shellseeker said:

Kasia,

Thanks for sharing.  What an amazing place!!!! I can not help but thinking in my country we would have all sorts of barb wire, no trespassing signs, threats of prosecution, etc for any location that looks as fun to explore and as potentially dangerous as this one.

 

You are fortunate. 

Well, I needed to identify at least one owner - and ask for permission :), because some of the pits are indeed fenced and have "entry prohibited" signs. Fortunately he was in the area and didn't mind us going inside the pits - he even recommended which are better for fossils, because not all of them are so fossiliferous as these we visited. We don't have such strict laws on entering private property like US, especially in the case of such open pits - but it's always better to ask for permission to be on a safe side :)

 

 

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16 hours ago, cmwilson101 said:

Some real treasures there!!  And what an amazing looking place.  

 

3 hours ago, Monica said:

I really like those pectens, Kasia - they're very pretty :wub:

Thanks, I did enjoy the trip :thumbsu:

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51 minutes ago, Kasia said:

I hope it explains a bit the look of the fields :)

 

Thanks for the in depth explanation. I guess since Minnesota never had official kings and peasants, square fields were justified!!!

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