WELCOME TO THE MEMPHIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
MAGS Monthly Meetings are held at 7:00pm on the second Friday of each month
in the Fellowship Hall of Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, 5530 Shady Grove Road, Memphis, TN.
Youth and adult visitors are always welcome at MAGS meetings. CLICK HERE FOR A LOCATION MAP.
Click here for information on how you can become a MAGS member.
|May 2021 MAGS Events
||MAGS Board Meeting: Via ZOOM
MAGS Membership Meeting: May program will be Coon Creek Fossils presented by Dr. Michael A. Gibson, University of Tennessee at Martin Coon Creek Science Center. The program will be held at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church.
||MAGS Field Trip to Blue Springs, MS
||10:00 AM --
||MAGS Rock Swap at the home of Lou White. See details in the May newsletter.
We have monthly programs for both adults and youth.
Check the calendar above for dates and program information.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Non-members are not permited to participate in any MAGS field trips.
This includes all areas: public, private collecting, and pay sites. No exceptions.
FROM THE MAY 2021 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
Coon Creek and it's Cretaceous Deposit
05.09.2021: DR. MICHAEL A. GIBSON: The most famous fossil deposit in West Tennessee is arguably the Cretaceous Coon Creek lagerstätte deposit exposed at what was originally called the “Old Dave Weeks Place”. The deposit is well known to paleontologists globally and a favorite of fossil collectors. The original site has had a long history that is entering a new phase Read more about Coon Creek in the May issue of Rockhound News and attend the May meeting to hear Dr. Gibson. Dr. Gibson will be speaking to MAGS via Zoom. The MAGS meeting will be held at our regular location. See information above for location and time.
FROM THE APRIL 2021 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
April meeting plans
04.06.2020: WC McDANIEL, MAGS PRESIDENT: April 9, 2021 Membership Meeting will be heldheld in the Fellowship Hall at the Shady Grove Presbyterian Church at 6:00 PM [note that this is an earlier start time than normal].  There will be no program speaker.  Bring a display of something you have found, or lots of things that you have found. If you made something, bring it to show us. If you have added to your collection, bring it and show us. Or just bring a display.  There will be a petrified wood auction, the MAGS cookbook, MAGS stickers, and surprises.  12 months of door prizes.  It's never too late for an Easter egg hunt.  Drinks and packaged snacks will be provided.  COVID-19 rules apply: face mask required and social distancing will be maintained.  There will be a field trip and rock swap on May 22, sponsored by Memphis Stone and Gravel. More details will come later. Read about Roadcut Gravel, Martian Blueberries and much, much more in the April issue of Rockhound News.
FROM THE MARCH ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
Who Are The Native Americans And Where Did They Originate?
03.04.21: MIKE BALDWIN: Before the first European explorers set foot on the shores of North and South America, there were people here. It is suggested that man appeared in Asia around 35,000 years ago. Further evidence suggests that man arrived in North America around 14,000 years ago. Recently, new evidence has surfaced. We will talk about that and much, much more during the March MAGS Zoom meeting. To learn more about upcoming MAGS events and much, much more, check out the March Rockhound News.
FROM THE FEBRUARY ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
What zircons in sedimentary rocks can tell us about plate tectonic processes
02.04.2021: DR. WILL JACKSON, DEPT OF EARTH SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS: Detrital zircons are common accessary minerals in sandstone and conglomerate rocks. Zircons also represent the ideal mineral for calculating U-Pb ages. To investigate the development of the Tibetan Plateau, the largest and highest plateau on Earth, we dated zircons from syntectonic sedimentary deposits in southwest Sichuan Province, China. To learn more about Dr. Jackson work with zircons and much, much more, check out the February Rockhound News.
FROM THE JANUARY ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
01.04.2021: MATTHEW LYBANON, MAGS Newsletter Editor: The sphere on the left above is carved out of quartz crystal. Usually the sphere is milky white with fractures. It is difficult to see through and get a clear view. The sphere on the right is glass or reconstituted quartz. It is usually clear and easy to see through. See the similarities between spheres and and our current programming situation in the January issue of Rockhound News. On Friday, January 8, Stacy Walbridge will provide a MAGS Adult Program Zoom presentation on “Collecting in the Sonoran Desert” that will cover the geology of the area, soft and hard tools, and collecting sites, showing some samples they’ve collected.. To learn more about Sphering, Collecting in the Sonoran Desert and much, much more, check out the January Rockhound News.
FROM THE DECEMBER 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
12.07.2020 WC McDaniel, MAGS President: The last time I ate inside a restaurant was at a hamburger place in Arkansas, coming home from a show in Kansas City. It was March 16. On the same weekend, I did my last show and had my last meal inside a restaurant for the year. Enough about me. Here are the MAGS plans for the next few months:
• No Membership Meeting or Holiday Party
• No field trips
• Membership Meetings most likely will be with ZOOM. Additional information on that process will be coming.
• In person meetings will be determined by Covid-19 status.
Read more about MAGS activities and interests in the December issue of Rockhound News.
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
"November ZOOM Meeting"
11.13.20: Matthew Lybanon, Newsletter Editor: The Board is continuing to monitor the situation. The November meeting will be November 13 at 7:00 via Zoom. Members should have received Zoom log-on instructions. Planning for the remainder of 2020 remains inclusive as we monitor local Covid-19 status and determine what will be in the best interest of the club’s members. Check your email regularly for updates from the president. Check this website regularly for updates as well. All meetings and events will continue to maintain COVID-19 guidelines for Shelby County. Click here for more meeting details and other stories in the November Rockhound News.
FROM MAGS PRESIDENT, W.C. McDANIEL
"September MAGS Board and Membership Meetings"
09.11.20: WC McDANIEL: update on the current plans for the September MAGS membership meeting. The next scheduled membership meeting is Friday, September 11, Our plans are somewhat complicated as the church’s air conditioner system is not working and we have no AC update. Since the AC is not working we will have an outdoor meeting within the limits of Pandemic Guidelines.
Final decision was made on Thursday, September 10 to have an outdoor meeting. Members check your email on Thursday for any last minute details.
Here are the plans for the Friday meetings.
Board Meeting at 6:15 via ZOOM. Board members--check your email for ZOOM log-on information
Membership Meeting at 6:45
01. No formal meeting agenda
02. No non-member visitors
03. No food/drink to share. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink.
04. You MUST wear a mask
05. You MUST maintain social distancing
06. You MUST stay home if you feel sick, have a fever or if you may have been exposed to Covid-19
07. Your temperature will be checked before you enter the area
08. You must stay in the assigned areas [you will have access to the restrooms]
Members--check your email early on 09.11.20 for details of planned displays and activities. Bring a display of things you have found. Every member that attends will receive a door prize.
Click here for more meeting details and other stories in the September Rockhound News.
FROM THE AUGUST 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
08.05.20: WC McDaniel: We have entered our fifth month of cancelled events and restrictions due to the Covid 19 virus. It remains uncertain as what the near future will bring. However, MAGS is looking ahead and here is an update.
[1.] Currently Memphis/Shelby County is in Phase 2 and has delayed moving into Phase 3. [2.] The next two Membership meetings would normally be scheduled for August 14 and September 11. [3.] The August 14 Membership
Meeting is cancelled. [4.] Field trip—Charles Hill has scheduled a field trip for Saturday, August 15. As usual we will not publish field trip details and will distribute to Members upon request. The trip will be to Crow Creek with a new site and access point. Members only. Contact Charles Hill for details. [5.] When a membership meeting is scheduled I will update you as to the date and format-It will be differe. Click here for the August Rockhound News.
FROM THE JULY 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
"Looking forward and remembering the past"
07.10.20: Matthew Lebanon: In the July issue of MAGS Rockhound News: the latest on plans to resume MAGS meetings, pictures to remind you what field trips look like, a court ruling important to rockhounds, our regular feature “Fabulous Tennessee Fossils,” a historical (MAGS history) document, a contest announcement, new information on two (count ‘em) mass extinctions, and one or two other things. Read and enjoy. Click here for the July Rockhound News.
FROM THE JUNE 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
"No MAGS activities in June"
06.10.20: Matthew Lebanon: All MAGS activities have been cancelled for the month of June. We will keep you informed as the month progresses. In the meantime, enjoy the June newsletter—archaeological finds in the local area, some MAGS history, link to a movie from over a century ago showing a dinosaur moving around (beats fuzzy stills of the Loch Ness Monster), Federation news, and more. Hope you find it interesting. Click here for the June Rockhound News.
FROM THE MAY 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
"In Defense of Rocks"
05.08.20: WC McDaniel: All MAGS activities were cancelled for the month of May. In the meantime, enjoy the newsletter and let us know if you have been able to incorporate your love of rocks into your everyday activiites during this time. Hear are some of my thoughts in defense of rocks. The use of the phrase “Dumb as a Rock” appears to be on the increase, especially by politicians, and it is time to stand up for rocks. I love and adore rocks, collect them, play with them, hoard and board them, display them, sell them, and put them to work. But I have never met a dumb rock. Met a few that were hard and somewhat ugly and of little use, some made my back ache and few that tried to remove my big toe. But through it all, they were rocks, not dumb rocks. Read more in the May Rockhound News.
FROM THE APRIL 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
All MAGS meetings and events for April have been cancelled
04.06.20: MATTHEW LYBANON: The 2020 Memphis Mineral, Fossil, and Jewelry Show is cancelled and will not be rescheduled for later in the year. The Agricenter, our Show location, has cancelled all events until mid-May. More details are in the April newsletter. All scheduled club activities are cancelled until May. The March 29th DMC Field Trip hosted by the Mobile Rock & Gem Society has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a future date. So far, the April 18 DMC Field Trip is still on. Stay tuned for additional information about future MAGS events and meetings.
READ MORE IN THE APRIL ROCKHOUND NEWS
RECENT ABSTRACT ADDED TO MAGS REPOSITORY OF ARTICLES
Survey of Florida's Invertebrate Marine Fossils by David H. Hanes
- During the Cenozoic Era, the geologic and stratigraphic history of the State we now call Florida left invertebrate fossils that reflected the rise of a diverse marine fauna.
- Two geologic formations, the Tamiami and Caloosahatchee, were deposited through central and southwest Florida.
- This article focuses on a small sample of invertebrate fossils that reflect the form and shape of their extant fauna. Gastropoda and Mollusca marine fossils found in Tamiami and Caloosahatchee formation shell pits survived the moving shorelines of Florida during the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs.
- Surveys completed by the US Department of the Interior detected significant traces of rare earth elements, brought by ground water movement. At one fossil site in central Florida, fossils were transformed by the same ground water movement into beautiful mold aggregates of calcite crystals.
- Click here to download the 14-page PDF.
FROM THE JANUARY 2020 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
King Mastodon Excavation
01.05.2020: MATTHEW LYBANON: The King Mastodon Site is named after George King, who brought some large bones to the Arkansas State University Museum in April 1999. Dr. Julie Morrow, Station Archaeologist at the Arkansas State University-Jonesboro station of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey will be talking to us at the January MAGS membership meeting about this excavation. Read more about this, learn about the Younger Dryas Period in ancient history, Jewelry Bench Tips and more in the January Rockhound News.
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2019 MAGS YOUTH PROGRAM
Who Are the Native Americans and Where Did They Originate?
10.31.19: MIKE BALDWIN: The November MAGS Youth Program was presented by Mike Baldwin and youth member, Fulton Ledbetter [who spoke about the Mayan civilization and culture]. Native Americans are not Indians. Native Americans are the indigenous people of North and South America. Indigenous means the first [the original] people that inhabit an area, or continent. The term "Indian" originated when Christopher Columbus reached the Antilles islands and mistakenly thought he had reached the Indian Ocean. He labeled the inhabitants as "Indians" and the term stuck. Join the MAGS youth on November 8 as we learn about and discuss the indigenous people of the western hemisphere. To learn more about upcoming events and programs, check out the November Rockhound News.
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2019 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
The Sinkholes of Fulton County, Arkansas
10.03.19: MATTHEW LYBANON: On June 9, 2018, an accident at a “sinkhole” at Saddler Falls along the Spring River in Fulton County, Arkansas, involving three people, resulted in one person escaping, one person seriously injured, and one fatality. Following an onsite inspection by Arkansas Geological Survey staff it was realized that the sinkhole was not formed in the carbonate bedrock as expected but was formed in a carbonate structure which had formed in the river
itself. To learn about this sinkhole and much, much more, check out the October Rockhound News.
FROM THE OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
Scyphocrinites loboliths from the early Devonian Ross Formation in
Hardin County, Tennessee Dr. Elizabeth Rhenberg, U. Memphis
09.03.18: MATTHEW LYBANON: During the Early Devonian, West Tennessee was covered by a shallow sea. While covered, the Ross Formation was deposited on this shallow, marine shelf. The Ross Formation is divided into two members: Rockhouse Limestone Member and Birdsong Shale Member. The fossils that we are concerned with are found in the Birdsong. Read more in the September issue of Rockhound News.
FROM THE JULY 2019 ISSUE OF MAGS ROCKHOUND NEWS
Chucalissa Display Case and Native American Pottery
07.04.19: MIKE BALDWIN: This beautiful display case and the pottery housed in it are the result of a collaboration between the Memphis Archaeological and Geological Society and the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa. The pottery inside this case has not been viewed by the general public until now. All the pots were found during excavations at the Chucalissa Indian Village years ago. The case was dedicated to the memory of 21-year MAGS member, Sherri Baldwin on Saturday, July 6. Read about this and other MAGS activities in the July issue of Rockhound News.
HERE'S A VERY IMPORTANT WEBLINK FOR YOU FROM THE TN GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Click on the image below to learn about Tennessee fossils
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PUBLICATIONS [listed here by permission of each owner]
T.O. Fuller Excavation
Coon Creek Fossils: Part 1
Coon Creek Fossils: Part 2
Lower Devonian Fossils of West Tennessee
The 50mm-wide specimen represented here is Dalmanites retusus. Known only from isolated pygidia. The pygidium is distinct from other Birdsong trilobites in that it has a rounded profile and lacks a pygidial spine.
Excerpt from Devonian Fossils of West Tennessee, by Kieran Davis.
The Lower Devonian system is well represented in Tennessee, forming part of an almost unbroken sequence of deposits ranging in age from the Middle Silurian to upper Lower Devonian. The Ross Formation of west-central Tennessee contains the most diverse and abundant Lower Devonian invertebrate fauna and this guide focuses on the most fossiliferous member of the Ross--the Birdsong Shale. The Birdsong Shale is well exposed in road cuts along State Highway 69 and in the many active and disused quarries of western Tennessee.
Click here or on the trilobite to download your copy of this 40-page PDF.
|Late Pleistocene Megafauna From Mississippi Plain Gravel Bars
Excerpt from Late Pleistocene Megafauna, by Dr. Nina L. Baghai-Riding, Danielle B. Husley, Christine Beck, and Eric Blackwell.
The late Pleistocene of North America is characterized by vertabrate animals (mostly mammals weighing ≥ 44kg) including Mammut americanum (American mastodon), Bison spp. (bison), Megalonyx jeffersonii, and Arctodus simus. Disarticulated skeletal elements of vertebrate fauna are frequently exposed on floodplain and gravel bar deposits after floodwaters retreat throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Plain.
Click here or on the lefthand image to download your copy of this 24-page PDF.
|Survey of Florida's Invertebrate Marine Fossils
During the Cenozoic Era, the geologic and stratigraphic history of the State we
now call Florida left invertebrate fossils that reflected the rise of a diverse
marine fauna. Two geologic formations, the Tamiami and Caloosahatchee, were deposited through central and southwest Florida. Many researchers have
cataloged and documented the evolution of the fauna, and describe how the
regression of the Atlantic Ocean during the Cenozoic was the result of periods of glaciation and climatic warming that resulted in the changing shorelines, and the deposition of beds of invertebrate marine fossils.
This article focuses on a small sample of invertebrate fossils that reflect the
form and shape of their extant fauna.
Click here or on the lefthand image to download your copy of this 14-page PDF.
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EXPLORE MAGS A LITTLE BIT MORE
The Earth Wide Open
MAGS Field Guide
For information about The Earth Wide Open
, the annual Rock Show sponsored by MAGS and held at the AgriCenter in Memphis, TN, click here
to visit, ask questions, or leave comments on the MAGS Field Guide to Rocks, Minerals and Fossils. Click here for an index of topics on the blog.
Chucalissa Indian Village
CHUCALISSA (Choctaw word meaning "Abandoned House"): The ruins of this native American town sit on the Mississippi bluff five miles south of downtown Memphis. At one time the population of Chucalissa could have been a thousand to fifteen hundred. The town existed into the seventeenth century, when its townspeople left and never returned. Hence, the name Chucalissa. Since most native Americans north of the Rio Grande never developed a written language, we can never know the town's real name.
Read about MAGS' involvement in the early years of Chucalissa.
ON THE WEB
Visit the MAGS Flickr gallery of pictures
MAGS MEMBERS: We have a place to showcase your field trip, rock show, and mineral-collecting vacation pictures. Visit our Flickr gallery of pictures. If you have pictures you would like to share, send them to the MAGS webmaster and [if they are pictures all members of MAGS would enjoy] he will get them in the gallery.
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"When out fossil hunting, it is very easy to forget that rather than telling you how the creatures lived, the remains you find indicate only where they became fossilized."
–– Richard E. Leakey