Field Trip Report:

Cumberland Island, GA. and Harleyville, SC
July 12th through the 17th, 2004

Hello all, we just returned from our week long fossil hunting trip to Cumberland Island and then on to Harleyville to meet with our other MAGMA club members for the fossil dig there. RJ and I picked up Travis and Brad and headed to Cumberland on Monday morning, it is about a six hour drive from Asheville. We stayed across the street from the National Park boat house which ferry's people to and from the island. Tuesday morning we were headed to the island. In the past you were able to hunt fossils at the south end of the island where there was a huge dredge deposit. This deposit has been used for roads on the island and is gone, today you have to get off at the second dock at the island and then hike the four miles to the the new dredge piles, this is not a lot of fun if you do not like the heat, it was 110 degrees the first day on the island and four miles can feel like twenty! After I arrived at the location and began hunting I forgot all about the heat. I never took my camera out of the case the whole trip at Cumberland or Harleyville, so all I have so far are specimen pics from Cumberland, I did make a nice two hour video of the trip to Cumberland. The variety of fossils to be found at the island is amazing, here are some of the things I found in the first four hours of searching the dredge piles:

Rib bones, Whale bones, Mastodon teeth sections, Porpoise ear bones, Burr fish plates, Ray stingers, Tiger Shark teeth, Mako teeth, Snaggletooth teeth, Great White teeth, Megalodon teeth, Ray teeth, Vertebra, Agatized bone, Turtle shell fragments, Alligator teeth, Sand shark teeth, Requieum teeth, Lemon teeth, Porpoise teeth etc.

One man had a 6" meg tooth he found ten feet from where we were collecting. Here are some pics:

One days finds on the island.

Porpoise ear bone, 1.5"

Alligator tooth and root, 1"

Burr fish mouth plate, 1"

Burr fish mouth plate, (bottom)

Tiger Shark, 1"

Agatized bone section, 1"

Mastodon tooth section, 2.5"


Boxing glove fossil? Two Snaggletooth Shark teeth, .75" each.

Mako tooth, 1.5"


Great White teeth

Ray tooth

Ray stinger barb


We spent two more days on the island collecting and searching the beach for whatever we could find, Friday we headed to Harleyville for the next days digging. We met with John Denny, Roseanna and Ed Fergeson, Jerry and Tena Fortenberry, and Doug and Beth Dover at the hotel friday night and made our plans for the next day. Bright and early to the mine in the morning, I found around 100 small shark teeth, that I have not cleaned and sorted yet, I left at 11:00 to return home so I don't know what everyone else found, If everyone will email me pics I will post them on this report. What a great week of fossil hunting, I've already made reservations to be back at Cumberland this winter, let me know if anyone is interested and we can make it a club trip!

Can you ID this shell?

Jerry's collection of teeth from Harleyville.

Parking at Harleyville.

The pit at Harleyville.

Roseanna sent me these pics below of her and Ed's finds, I'd say they did pretty good, the large teeth are the auriculatis shark teeth that are very hard to find, good job Roseanna and Ed!

Auriculatis teeth, bottom tooth is a Mako.

Small teeth and a nice fossilized Marlin nose piece.

Auriculatis tooth.

See you next time, Rick 8^)

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