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Messel quarry – an archaeological site where valuable Eocene fossils were found. The quarry is located 35 kilometers from Frankfurt am Main.
Remains of ancient mammals and other organisms have been found in the shale deposits. They are well preserved, there are quite a few of them. These findings are of undoubted value for science. In this regard, the Messel quarry was included in the list of World Heritage Sites in December 1995. Today, excavations are underway here, but, in addition, excursions for tourists are often held.
The territories adjacent to today's Messel quarry have been used since 1859 for the extraction of brown coal and oil shale ... Paleontologists became interested in them only at the beginning of the 20th century. Since about the 1970s. archaeological excavations began here after the industrial development was closed. After the closure of the development, they were going to organize a landfill here, but the authorities of Hesse bought this territory in order to preserve scientifically significant plots of land and explore them. In 1996, legally, fossilized remains found in a quarry earlier were returned to state ownership.
According to scientific sources, about 47 million years ago, sediments were formed, which were discovered in the XX century. quarry territory with an area of 0.7 sq. km and a depth of 60 meters. Scientists also calculated that in the Eocene epoch there was a lake on the site of the quarry, surrounded by a jungle with a completely diverse flora and forms of animal life. Over time, the vegetation died out, and the lake dried up, which led to the formation of deposits of shale rock, which did not contain oxygen. This contributed to the preservation of any biological material that fell to the bottom of the lake, including bones, animal fur, bird feathers, etc.
Among the finds found in the Messel quarry, there are about 10 000 fossilized fish and amphibians, several thousand insects, hundreds of birds and reptiles, small rodents, artiodactyls, primates. Fossilized remains of plant leaves and fruits were also found here.
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Topic: Quarry Messel in Germany, resort of Frankfurt am Main.