Finding Fossils

Archeology or the study of fossils and rock is one of the most interesting professions in the world. The types of history that these people uncover has the potential to change how we understand ourselves and our world.

Fossils are found all over the world and even in the ocean. There are fossils smaller than a coin and even some larger than vehicles that have been unearthed. It is important for the public and excavation professionals to understand fossils as they may encounter them in their work or everyday lives.

What are fossils?

Fossils are the prehistoric remains of a life form petrified in a rock mold. Fossils take many millions of years to form and all manner of life forms have been found fossilized in rock. Form large dinosaur skeletons to small mammals and birds that once roamed the earth millions of years ago.

Fossils are hard like rock. Sometimes animals are found in their complete form and other times bits and pieces of them are found over a given area. Even plan organisms can be fossilized.

How are fossils found?

Fossils are found in a variety of ways including by accident. One of the most common ways for fossils to be unearthed is on planned archaeological digs. During these projects, scientists and other professionals will map out an area where they believe fossils to be buried and start the painstaking process of digging up the dirt to reveal fossils.

Other times, fossils are unearthed by accident. This typically happens during construction projects where foundations, tunnels, or other underground structures are being built. For example during 360 excavator training, it would be possible for trainees to unearth fossils in the regions they practice in.

More information on 360 excavator training

Who goes looking for fossils?

Archaeologists and historians are the primary professionals that go looking for fossils however there are also many amateurs out there that go fossil hunting. Academic institutions may also have student groups that go out searching for fossils.

Why do people go looking for fossils?

The reasons people search for fossils are many. They may be looking for a missing piece of a larger puzzle, they may be in search of fossils to generate income, and they may be looking for fun (as in the case of amateurs).

How do people look for fossils?

People look for fossils using anything from crude instruments to sophisticated sonar equipment. Amateurs for example may just go out walking in regions that are known to be fossil-rich. More sophisticated parties use computerized sonar equipment that scans the ground underneath using sound waves to see if there are any fossils buried there.

Whether you're an amateur, a professional, or just an interested member of the public, understanding fossils can help everyone. Professionals who encounter fossils as part of their daily routine need to understand how to handle these pieces of history properly so that they can be preserved. Businesses and academics must also be aware of historical implications of fossils and their importance to indigenous groups of people that may still be living in a given region.