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In the region of Holzmaden, the so-called "Posidonia"-shales (age: Jura, Lias) are present beneath the soil. This formation originates from a tropical sea. The shales contain a little oil. The "Urweltmuseum" (="Ancient world museum") in Holzmaden has a collection of fossil reptiles that roamed the seas!
There were several quarries in the area between the towns of Holzmaden - Ohmden - Schlierbach - Zell, which gradually closed down during the last years. Now there are only 2 quarries left, one solely operated for private fossil collectors (paid access). It's the large quarry directly opposite the Hauff Museum in Holzmaden. Visitors can dig for fossils in the Posidonia shale there, and it's possible to hire larger tools if necessary for a small fee. Museum staff is present to answer questions and to identify the findings. Loose rubble and gravel produced by the collectors is frequently removed from the pit.
The Posidonia shale in the Holzmaden area is protected under natural heritage laws, and the same laws apply to the fossils found in it. Qualified museum and/or quarry staff will review the findings and decide if specimens are to be withheld for the state due to scientific importance. In such cases, a fair compensation will be granted. However, this does not comprise the regular findings like ammonites, belemnites and even isolated reptile bones.
Holzmaden has a museum: Urwelt Museum Hauff. The adress is Aichelberger Strasse 90. It's clearly indicated by roadsigns. For more information, visit http://www.urweltmuseum.de/ The museum organises small excursions to a nearby quarry, so everyone can find it's own fossils!
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Schieferbruch Kromer near Ohmden. On the background Aigelberg.
Added by: Pleydellia on 24-07-2011
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Holzmaden is located east of Stuttgart in the southwest of Germany. The Urweltmuseum is located in Holzmaden and is clearly indicated by roadsigns. The quarrie is located next to the museum.
A second quarry Schieferbruch Ralf Kromer is located in Ohmden. After paying a fee you can collect fossils. The quarry is open from march to mid november. http://www.schieferbruch-kromer.deDrag the map and zoom in or out for the best view of this locality.
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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Aichelberg (steinbruch)
Fossil location: Aspach
Fossil location: Bad Boll
Fossil location: Rielingshausen
Museum: Museum der Universität Tübingen
Museum: Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart
Museum: Urweltmuseum Hauff
Museum: Urweltsteinbruch Fischer
Society: Stuttgarter Mineralien- und Fossilienfreunde: Restaurant
Thanks to Arno Luyckx for his part of this description.
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