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Gorges du Verdon, France
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Digne-les-Bains, in the southeast of France is located in the middle of the Geological reserve of the Haute Provence. The reserve covers an area of 150000 hectares, and is the largest geological reseve in Europe. In this reserve many interesting sites and excavations can be seen. At some sites collecting fossils is strictly forbidden, but in the rest of the reserve collecting fossils on a small scale and without equipment is allowed. Everywhere in the area you can get leaflets with a description of the interesting points in the reserve.
Near Digne you can see the spectacular "Dalle aux Ammonites". Here you can see many large ammonites (up to carwheel size!) in a vertical rockface. The ammonites are from the Sinemurian, part of the Jurassic period.
Also visit the closeby Musée Promenade. The museum on top of a hill is very worthwhile, and is easily found (see pictures)!
Further to the north, the road leads you along several geological interesting points, and through gorges. You can see the spot where bird tracks from the Miocene have been found (15 km north of Digne). Near Barles, you can find plantfossils from the Carboniferous period.
Also southwest of Digne you can find fossils at the Col the Corobin. Use road D20 to the southwest from Digne-les-Bains. After the Col at your right tilted layers are exposed. Here you can find ammonites and belemnites from the Batjocian and Bathonian (part of the middle Jurassic period). When following this road to the south, you can see beautiful rock formations near Chaudon (see photograph). Here I did not find any fossils though.
Photo 1 of 12
The exposure opposite to the campingsite, east of Digne
Added by: webmaster on 23-06-2011
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From Digne, follow road D20 to the east. Behind the Intermarche supermarket at your right, sediments are exposed. Also opposite the campingsite you can find fossils. There are many other exposures of rocks in the area where you can look for fossils. When you follow the road, you will pass the Col the Corobin site.
The Dalles aux Ammonites (ammonite valley) is located on the road to Barles, several kilometres north of Digne. Along this road you can also visit the Musée Promenade, at the other side of the river in Digne.
North of Barles, coallayers from the Carboniferous period are exposed. The exposure can be found when you follow road D900A from Barles to the north. After a few kilometres go left on road D7. Just after the bridge over the river, you will notice the black shales in wich you can find plant fossils.Drag the map and zoom in or out for the best view of this locality.
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Museum: Musée Promenade
Museum: Musée Sirènes et Fossiles
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