Today I will be telling you the story of how I fulfilled one of my dreams. It is not quite about Librarianship, but if you have an interest in Archaeology, fossils and smashing rocks, you may enjoy this entry.

Dinosaur Dreaming is a joint project between Monash University and Museum Victoria. They have been organising annual digs for over 20 years. The main sites are around Inverloch or the Otways and on the 30 of November I joined them for Rookie’s day.

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For many years I had dreams of going on a dig and this year I put some real effort into achieving that. Unfortunately all the Universities I contacted told me “no, sorry, we don’t take on volunteers for digs” so I really started to think I’d need to move to Europe before I would be allowed anywhere near one! On the 22nd November I was at the Melbourne Museum for school holiday training when I stumbled upon knowledge that the volunteers from the ‘Eric the Red’ dig were upstairs. Turns out the path to fulfilling my dream was right under my nose all along!

On the 30th November we had Rookie’s day at The Caves beach near Inverloch. I arrived an hour early and used the time to drive up and down the coast enjoying all the little beaches. I then drove to the Caves beach and sat in the car park waiting for everyone else to arrive.  Once we had everyone, Wendy (Volunteer coordinator for Dinosaur Dreaming digs) gave us a safety speech, commanded us to help with all the digging gear then led us down to the beach.

This dig isn’t quite like what you are thinking. I know most imagine archaeologist at digs moving piles of dirt. At Inverloch we smashed rocks. Very rarely at the site do you get whole skeletons. This is because the Inverloch area used to be rivers and floodplains, so everything got moved around quite a bit.

All rookies were given a mentor to help us throughout the day. The mentors at my rock were Corrie and John. Between the two of them, I learned how to spot a fossil, what to expect on a dig and the best clothing to wear for any digging occasion.

So how do you spot a fossil?

  • Look for a clear edge.
  • Look for a different colour of the surrounding rock.
  • Look for a spongy texture called spongiosa.

This is a fossil I found on the day, can you see it?

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What is the best way to smash rocks?

  • Grab your hammer and cold chisel
  • Place the chisel against the rock
  • Slide your hand down so you are holding it near the bottom. This will stabilise the chisel and prevent rock from flying everywhere
  • Then hammer away!

My experience on rookie’s day was just incredible. I fulfilled a dream, contributed to science and made some new friends… can’t wait to do it all again!

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