Fossil site offering first hand – and shovel – experience

Published 7:30 am Friday, September 26, 2014

Grab a shovel and dig in!
Dig Days are returning to the Gray Fossil Site.
For the first time in several years, the public is invited to help the paleontologists dig at the site located at the ETSU and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitor’s Center.
Children ages 7 and up and adults are invited to visit the fossil site Saturday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and lend a hand in digging.
Attendees will receive a short introduction about the site’s history and visit the areas where paleontologists are currently excavating. Also, participants will get first-hand digging experience on the site’s spoil piles. These piles of dirt which were moved for the construction of the museum are where the famous red panda fossil was discovered.
After digging, the program will end with a behind the scenes tour of the museum’s Prep Lab to see fossils being cleaned and assembled.
Participants are advised to wear closed-toed shoes and clothing that can get muddy. The field crew also recommends sunscreen, a hat, bug spray and a water bottle on hot days. Digging tools will be provided.
Collecting materials at the site is strictly prohibited and attendees are advised that all fossils, plants, rocks and even the dirt are to remain on site.
Admission to the museum is $3 for children and $6 for adults. Several types of discount admission are available at a cost of $4 for seniors, emergency personnel, veterans and many other qualifying individuals. The fee to participate in the Dig Days program is general admission plus $5.
The program is weather-dependent and wil be canceled in the event of rain or if thunder or lightning is observed in the area.

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