Dry Dredgers
Annual May Field Trip
May 24, 2003
The Famous Mt. Orab

The 4th Annual Mt. Orab Field Trip was a record turnout. This event is getting bigger every year. I didn't count, it looked like more than 50 members attended. The dig site is getting bigger, too. The "overburden" above the good trilobite layer had been removed closer to the creek by heavy equipment, exposing a much larger area for diggers.

The weather was perfect: clear skies, sunny and slightly cool. Here are some pictures.

The Diggers

Digging for Flexicalymene retrorsa and Isotelus maximus Trilobites cost $20 per person, paid to the land owner. There had been quite a lot of rain in the days and weeks before the dig. The site was muddy and the clay was wet. This made for less than optimal conditions for removing the large Isotelus trilobite in one piece. 


Don Bissett was a big help, as usual, providing digging tips and doing the hard work of shoveling the clay away from above the trilobite layer to provide a spot for each Dry Dredger to dig.

Surface Collecting

At least half the Dry Dredgers spent some, or all, of their time at the Mt. Orab site, surface collection, which was free to dues-paying members. There had been lots of rain, so fair numbers of trilobites had weathered to the surface from the piles of shale, cast aside in earlier years by the skilled diggers who moved this clay to get to the best trilobite layer.


This year, new technologies could be seen. This member came equipped with a combination GPS receiver and FRS two-way radio to stay in touch with other surface collectors on the site.

Some surface collectors went as far as to rummage through the piles of clay the Dry Dredgers who were digging tossed behind. The hope is that someone missed a great trilobite in the chunks of clay while digging.

Other diggers got smart and saved some of the hard nodules of clay from the trilobite layer for later splitting, perhaps when they got home (is that a new kind of doggie bag?) 

Next Page: Fossils Found That Day: Part 1

Mt. Orab 2003 Direct Page Links

Page 1: Diggers and Surface Collectors
Page 2:
Fossils Found While Digging: Flexicalymene and Other Fossils
Page 3: Fossils Found While Digging: Isotelus maximus
Page 4: Fossils Found while Surface Collecting

For More Information:
A Pictorial Demonstration of How to Dig Trilobites
Some Trilobites of the Cincinnatian

Past Mt. Orab Field Trips:


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