Friday, September 4, 2015
by Rebecca Cope
IN SEARCH OF SKELETONS
This week’s Five Faves involves a search for Skeletons that led to a Wall of Bones. I stood in front of the wall transfixed: Layer upon layer of bones stacked up haphazardly, buried in sandstone and silt. There, parts of a skull, here, neck bones with some of the torso intact, everywhere, leg bones of varying sizes. It was the brainchild of Earl Douglas, the paleontologist who discovered the large cache of Dinosaur bones in the Jensen, Utah area in 1909. Exhibits from the site that unpacked history of the Jurrasic Period 150 million years old, whole skeletons, now reside in museums around the world.
The tools of the paleontogist’s trade grace the simple museum. The bones were exposed in place, enclosed in the climate-controlled building. There was such an excess of Dinosaur bones that it was designated as Dinosaur National Monument in 1915. The Wall of Bones opened to the public 43 years later. Traveling Shoes found a home for the week in the Park, beside the Green River. For $6.00 a night, we had full access to the Bone Gallery, Josie the Outlaw’s homestead, and petroglyphs from the Fremont period.
Douglass worked for the Carnegie Museum. He died penniless. While Carnegie and his museum thrived, it took his family 78 years to publish the diaries of his find, and to preserve the true history of the expedition. Like our search for skeletons through The Source Documents, the common man does not benefit from the policies of the wealthy few. His family had to work hard to preserve his name even as the founder of the treasure-trove. It is a story well worth a read:
- SPEAK TO THE EARTH AND IT WILL TEACH YOU: The Life and Times of Earl Douglass, by G. E. Douglass
- Take the time, right now, this minute, to watch the trailer for this movie: 99 HOMES. Patricia Anthony dropped this link into my mailbox. Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern, and Michael Shannon star in a timely story about a man who loses his home and then makes a deal with the devil to get it back by going into the dirty business of foreclosure with the shady real estate broker who evicted his family. This movie is set for release September ….
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