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Tidgy's Dad
1 hour ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

 

The Protoceratops from Mongolia photo is just bizarre. Nothing of that ilk here at all. :headscratch:

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Tidgy's Dad

Gypsum is also found in thick layers in the Erfoud area. This is also collected and used to make decorative objects or sold to mineral collectors when cleaned up.

Note occasional orange bits that are found in much thinner layers. 

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And the desert roses, here called "sand roses", found in many locations, so these are probably fairly local.

Nice to see they are next to the "stromatolites". 

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Tidgy's Dad

The place is huge with many areas where prepping is done and rocks are stored or displayed :

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Malcolmt

Awesome pictures...... would be amazing to visit

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Tidgy's Dad
28 minutes ago, Malcolmt said:

Awesome pictures...... would be amazing to visit

Indeed, it is amazing.

But also quite horrifying in places as shall be seen.

The workshops produce an endless stream of souvenirs, often from the local cephalopod beds, the grey brown ones, but also from the black 'orthoceras marble' mostly from the Rissani area. Nice coke bottle. :) Their favourite product, it would seem.

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These 'artistic sculptures' are not claiming to be anything but fossils embedded in cement. Shame as many of the fossils are lovely, but they have a billion of them, so have to find ever more creative ways of selling them ;

 

 

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Tidgy's Dad

The chronstratigraphy is a little off...........

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Nimravis

Nice pics and info Adam.

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Tidgy's Dad

As I have said, they use the local cephalopod beds (brownish or grey) and the 'Orthoceras Marble' (black) to make absolutely anything that sells.

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Sinks and fountains. (we had a sink made from ' Orthoceras Marble' in our desert hotel room in Merzouga if you recall.) 

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The Moroccans love fountains! Many houses, (riads)   have an indoor courtyard with a gardens, trees and a central fountain.

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This table has a real margin, but the inner part, under glass, contains fossil set into a matrix.:

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caldigger

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So they actually do make them uncarved after all! :P

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Tidgy's Dad
2 hours ago, caldigger said:

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So they actually do make them uncarved after all! :P

Well, they are partly carved.

The top one on this table, though, is real and rather lovely.

Much nicer than the table, I would say! 

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Tidgy's Dad

The Composition Area? 

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Polishing Section.

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And then into the first showroom :

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The chessboards don't seem to have any fossils in them. :headscratch:

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Tidgy's Dad

This is a super goniatite, polished, but nice. 

It's probably local, but that covers pretty much the whole Devonian, so I won't guess! 

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Notice it's quite dark, but not as dark as the "Orthocerid Marble." But it's not the local brownish stuff either. 

This is from one of the other Devonian layers, not sure which one, but probably still from the Erfoud region. 

 

This stuff is found as decorative work all over Morocco and many other countries besides. it's the principal money earner for the region, all your flying trilobites and giant cephalopods are really just a sideline. 

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Tidgy's Dad

Plates :

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Never seen anyone using these! 

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Tidgy's Dad

An anti-room to the main shop.

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Aurelius
6 hours ago, Tidgy's Dad said:

The crinoid plate. 

I'm pretty sure most of the crinoids are real. The plates are smashed to bits during extraction and then fitted together again. 

But some of these seem to fit together not very well, the pieces of stem don't cross over the break and where they do they seem raised and unbroken, almost as if they've been added on top of the main plate...........

Some of the pieces do go together, others don't, in my opinion. 

 

I'm suspicious that the vast majority of these plates are composited, rather than repaired. Even when they look quite convincing, you can turn them over and see that the pieces clearly never went together originally. But I suppose there must be some bigger ones out there.

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Malcolmt

I continue to be in Awe

 

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Tidgy's Dad
18 hours ago, Aurelius said:

 

I'm suspicious that the vast majority of these plates are composited, rather than repaired. Even when they look quite convincing, you can turn them over and see that the pieces clearly never went together originally. But I suppose there must be some bigger ones out there.

I quite agree. 

Or at least it's a mixture of the two. 

When they smash them out of the rock layer from inside the tunnel underneath it, it's not done with any delicacy. I find it quite odd that the crinoid calices themselves are rarely broken. Bits are broken and replaced and the jigsaw has many missing pieces. But you're also right in that one or two are pretty good. Another factor is that if they find a really nice one on its own it is sold singly  at a much higher price than the blocks get per calyx and so that space is filled by a lesser specimen. 

Top Tip : Always look at the back of these pieces, it's no surprise that they're broken and put back together, that's the way of it, but you can sometimes tell that the pieces don't match. However they often try to disguise this too by rough sanding/ polishing or using a putty to hide the joins. 

 

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