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In the Hunsrück region, in the west of Germany is the world famous locality of Bundenbach. In the slates from the lower Devonian period (400 milion years old) beautifully preserved detailed fossils were found. Fossils from the marine deposits from the area of Bundenbach can be seen in many museums in the world.
You can visit several private collections, and also the small museum in the old quarry Herrenberg in Bundenbach. The quarry and museum is open every day during the holiday season, and quided tours are available. In the Herrenberg quarry it is possible to find fossils yourself. You can buy a quantity of rocks, and tools to split them are available. For children also very exiting!
The slates were quarried for roofing sice the 16th century in the area of Bundenbach and Gemünden. The quarry Herrenberg is from 1822. In 1964 the digging ceased here. All quarries in the area are now closed, because the extraction of rocks was not longer profitable. The present collecting possibilities are poor. At some dumping grounds there is still some activity, but it it difficult top get permission.
The fossils from Bundenbach are mostly pyritized, but they do mostly not degrade. The fossils break often not on the sedimentationm layers. This causes most fossils to break. Most fossils have to be glued.
The preparation of Bundenbach fossils is often very difficult, and needs lots of experience. Using small scrapers and knifes, the fossils are carefully prepared. In the past messing brusher were used, but many details are lost that way.
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Bundenbach and Gemünden are located in the west of Germany, in the Hunsrück region. Bundenbach is located about 50 kilometres south of Koblenz and 15 kilometres northeast of Idar-Oberstein.Drag the map and zoom in or out for the best view of this locality.
Below is only a shortlist of the wide variety found here. Complete starfish were found here, also trilobites (mostly Phacopida, i.e. Rhenops, Chotecops, Parahomalonotus, Malacostraca (Nahecaris), many species of crinoids, and armoured fishes.
Using x-rays, even the three dimensional structure of the fossils could be studied!
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