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Norfolk/chesapeake, Va....fossils?


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#1 Haizahnjager

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 04:28 PM

I recently received a job offer that would take me from my current home in Summerville, SC to the Norfolk, VA area. As I have only visited this area once, I am ignorant to the availability of fossil collecting in this area. If anyone has any knowledge about this region, please let me know.

P.S. I know Aurora is about 3 hours South and Northern VA/ Southern MD is about 3 hours North, but does anyone know of any locales closer than this?

Thanks,

Rob C.

#2 Haizahnjager

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:30 PM

Wow, that bad there, huh?!?

#3 Guest_Cris_*

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 12:56 PM

The only good shark tooth hunting I've heard of in VA was diving in one of the black water rivers... I know you're probably not too big into that idea. (nor am I)

#4 Auspex

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 01:19 PM

As far as I know, fossiling in the Tidewater area consists of the occasional tooth while beach combing.

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about."
-Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant


#5 jbstedman

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:17 PM

Though I have no first-hand experience in that area, this may be of some assistance. Jasper Burns (Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States) describes a site on the south bank of the York River near Yorktown. He writes, "The beaches of the York River in the vicinity of Yorktown are known for their abundant and varied fossils. Much of the riverfront is on U.S. Navy property and not open to collectors. Fortunately, the Colonial Parkway provides access to the river west of the town at selected points over a stretch of about seven miles." He describes Pliocene fossils that can be found, while noting some problems that limit hunting along this shoreline, including lots of riprap. He writes, "Despite all of these problems, I can think of few beaches that are more productive." Keep in mind that his book was published in 1994 -- lots may have changed.
Besides fossils,
I collect roadcuts,
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#6 Phoenixflood

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:38 PM

There is a state park that is straight acrosst from Jamestown; you can take the Ferry free of charge over to that side of the river. I can't remember the name but you can find lots of fossil shells and the occasional shark tooth.
The soul of a Fossil Hunter is one that is seeking, always.

#7 Fat Boy

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:19 PM

Though I have no first-hand experience in that area, this may be of some assistance. Jasper Burns (Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States) describes a site on the south bank of the York River near Yorktown. He writes, "The beaches of the York River in the vicinity of Yorktown are known for their abundant and varied fossils. Much of the riverfront is on U.S. Navy property and not open to collectors. Fortunately, the Colonial Parkway provides access to the river west of the town at selected points over a stretch of about seven miles." He describes Pliocene fossils that can be found, while noting some problems that limit hunting along this shoreline, including lots of riprap. He writes, "Despite all of these problems, I can think of few beaches that are more productive." Keep in mind that his book was published in 1994 -- lots may have changed.


JB, you're correct. I've been there several times and the description still applies (along the banks near Indian Field Creek). Sharks teeth aren't common there, but what you find is pretty good given the species that you find. All that I've found there are tiger and bull sharks teeth. There are lots of bone fragments and suprisingly few teeth given that the bone fragments are so prevalent :wacko: .


Phoenixflood, are you thinking about Chippoke's State Park on the James? I haven't been there but it's promising I would think. Also, there is another park along the York River West/North of there with beach access. There are some funny rules about fossil collecting though, something about a permit maybe? I'm not the resident VA expert, but perhaps someone from there could elaborate?
Kevin Wilson

#8 Haizahnjager

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 10:26 AM

Thanks guys! I guess I never fully realized how fortunate I have been to live in not one, but two great fossil bearing states (MD and SC). Although fossil consideration is not the motivating factor for or against a move to VA, it certainly plays some small role in that decision.

I appreciate everyon'e input, and judging by the hesitancy of replies to this thread, I surmise this area of VA is not as productive as other areas along the Atlantic.

Thanks Again,

Rob C.

#9 Phoenixflood

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:31 AM

Thanks guys! I guess I never fully realized how fortunate I have been to live in not one, but two great fossil bearing states (MD and SC). Although fossil consideration is not the motivating factor for or against a move to VA, it certainly plays some small role in that decision.

I appreciate everyon'e input, and judging by the hesitancy of replies to this thread, I surmise this area of VA is not as productive as other areas along the Atlantic.

Thanks Again,

Rob C.


Well that's not true :D I've found it to be one of the best States for finding fossils. I started out collecting at Westmoreland state park many years ago and found hundreds of fossil shark teeth. That was before the state park put an end to collecting there. I don't know if they allow it now or not? You could also hunt for teeth at Stratford if you payed to get into Robert E. Lee's birthplace, but soon the had security up and though out the properity to stop people from wading in from Westmoreland. I almost got arrested once; it was just more of a threat to keep me out. He asked me to empty my pockect and give my material to him. I was pulling out makos and all the small stuff. I kept hidden my 5" meg. I wasn't going to pull that out. He gave me my teeth back and sent me on my way. George washington's Birthplace was also good for fossil hunting but I think they put a stop to that as well.

It's a shame they really were the best places to go.
The soul of a Fossil Hunter is one that is seeking, always.

#10 Auspex

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:49 AM

North of the Tidewater, Virginia has very productive exposures of Aquia, St. Mary's, and Calvert formations; access is the problem :( .

"There has been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about."
-Ashleigh Ellwood Brilliant




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