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  You are here:  Matty Camelot      
 

 QUESTIONING THE "CAMELOT SITE" IN THE GIANT CEMENT QUARRY,  HARLEYVILLE,  SOUTH CAROLINA  

BY MATTHEW SWILP

FOR YEARS I HAVE BEEN AN AVID FOSSIL COLLECTOR AND A NOVICE IN THE STUDY OF GEOLOGY.   I SHOULD BE CALLED THE GUY THAT NEVER STOPS ASKING QUESTIONS.   I HAVE FIGURED OUT THE GEOLOGY OF THE EAST COAST 1000 TIMES OVER ONLY TO WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO REFUTE EVERYTHING I HAVE TRIED TO UNDERSTAND.  THERE IS ONE THING I CAN SHARE WITH EVERYONE WITHOUT A DOUBT.   THERE IS LITTLE UNDERSTANDING  IN THE FOSSIL BEDS OF SOUTH CAROLINA REGARDLESS OF WHAT WE ARE TOLD.    THIS CAN BE  EXPLAINED BY MILLIONS OF YEARS OF EROSION,  EARTH QUAKES,  HURRICANES,  FLOODS,  DRY PERIODS AND ICE AGES.   

GIANT CEMENT AND A FEW OTHER SORROUNDING QUARRIES ARE MINED ANNUALLY FOR THERE  EOCENE LIMESTONE DEPOSITS THAT WERE LAYED DOWN SOME 36  MILLION YEARS AGO.  THIS EOCENE DEPOSIT  OFFERS THE PERECT CEMENT AGGRAGATE.   THE MATERIAL MINED IS PULVERIZED AND HEAT TREATED TO PRODUCE THE BASIC INGREDIENT TO MAKE CONCRETE.   IN THE PROCESS OF MINING THE LIMESTONE MILLIONS OF FOSSILS ARE REVEALED AND DESTROYED ANNUALLY IN THE PRODUCTION LINE.  NOT ONLY DOES THE LIMESTONE DEPOSIT CONTAIN A RICH DIVERSITY OF MARINE FOSSILS,  THE OVERBURDEN AS WELL HOLDS  FOSSILS FROM MORE RECENT TIME PERIODS.  THE 'camelot site "  sits in the middle of this eocene fossil deposit. 

FROM MY FOND MEMORIES OF COLLECTING GIANT  AND THE SORROUNDING QUARRIES MANY YEARS AGO,  I HAVE COME TO A FEW INTERESTING CONCLUSIONS.  A FEW OF MY THOUGHTS CAME RECENTLY WHEN I JUST HAPPENED TO REMEMBER SOME OF THE ODD COLORS AND SEDIMENT TRAPS I NOTICED THROUGHOUT THE YEARS I DID COLLECT AT THESE SITES.    I RECALL SEEING TUBES AND HOLES FILLED WITH THE FINEST CLAY LIKE MATERIAL,  WITH A VARIETY OF COLORS FROM BLUE TO PURE WHITE.  THE TEXTURE OF THIS SEDIMENT WAS MUCH THE SAME AS PLUFF MUD WE FIND ON THE COAST. 

I HAVE YET TO GET A COMPLETE LIST OF THE FAUNA OF ALL THE ANIMALS FOUND AT "CAMELOT "  BUT A FEW ALARM BELLS WENT OFF .  I REMEMBER YEARS AGO ,  MY FRIEND VANCE MCCULLUM ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK AND YELLED OUT "CANIS LUPIS" WHEN A COLLECTOR ASKED HIM WHAT HE HAD FOUND.    THIS WAS ON A CLUB TRIP INTO GIANT AND I JUST HAPPENED TO BE THERE THAT DAY.  I CAN SAY,  THIS WAS AT LEAST 8 YEARS BEFORE THE "CAMELOT" SITE WAS EVER FOUND,  MAYBE LONGER. THE FOSSIL IN QUESTION WAS EITHER A DIRE WOLF,  OR WOLF MOLAR.  THE MENTION OF SEVERAL SABER TOOTHED TIGER SKULLS BEING FOUND ALSO BROUGHT THE ALARM BELLS IN MY BRAIN.  THERE IS NO FLOOD IN THE WORLD THAT WILL WASH A COLLECTION OF DIRE WOLF,  LION,  AND SABER TOOTHED TIGER MATERIAL INTO ONE SITE.  THE RARITY OF ANIMALS ON  THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN IN THE FOSSIL RECORD IS RARE IN ITSELF,  TO FIND THEM ALL IN ONE PLACE IN CONCENTRATION IS UN-HEARD OF,  UNLESS,  SPECIAL CONDITIONS OCCURRED.   A FLOOD IS NOT THE ANSWER.  A FLOOD WILL WASH ANIMALS TOGETHER,  BUT THE LIKELY HOOD OF LIONS,  DIRE WOLFES,  AND SABER TOOTHED TIGERS ALL HAVING FUN TOGETHER  DURING ONE TIME,  AND GETTING WASHED INTO ONE RELITIVLEY SMALL AREA,  DURING A FLOOD ,  THE ODDS ARE INCREDIBLE ENOUGH TO HAVE THE REMAINS OF ONE SABER TOOTHED TIGER. 

  I REALIZED THAT DURING THE PLIESTOCENE   THIS AREA WAS DRY,  AND HOSTILE.  IF THE LIMESTONE  DEPOSITS WERE EXPOSED FOR ANY PERIOD OF TIME,  THEN THE CONDITIONS FOR WATER SEPAGE AND LIMESTONE BREAKDOWN ARE INEVITABLE. SLOW AND GRADUAL EROSION WILL CREATE THE FINE PARTICLES THAT MAKE UP THE PLUFF MUD LIKE TUBES I ENCOUNTERED.   IF THIS SITE WERE PLAGUED BY CAMELS,  THEN THE DEFINITION OF THIS SITE IS ALMOST TANGIBLE.  CAMELS LIVE IN ARID,  DRY CLIMATES.  WHEN IT DID RAIN,  THEN THIS RAIN CARRIED ALL THE COMPONENTS TO BREAK DOWN THE LIMESTONE AND CREATE THE VERY WORM HOLES AND DEPRESSIONS I NOTICED FOR SO MANY YEARS. 

IN MY PAST EXPERIENCE I HAVE SEEN VERY FEW PLIESTOCENE FOSSILS FROM THE SURROUNDING QUARRIES.  IF THEY EXSIST,  I WILL SAY THEY ARE EXTREMELY RARE. DURING MY YEARS COLLECTING IN THESE QUARRIES I DO NOT RECALL FINDING ONE,  PLIESTOCENE FOSSIL.  

I BELIEVE THAT "CAMELOT "  IS NOT THE RESULT OF A FLOOD,  BUT A RESULT OF THE LIMESTONE BEING EXPOSED TO SUPER DRY ELEMENTS.  WHEN RAIN DID OCCUR,  THE RAIN WOULD SATURATE THE LIMESTONE AND EVENTUALLY ERODE POCKETS AND HOLES INTO THE HARD MATERIAL. OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME,  AREAS WITHIN RANGE OF THE "CAMELOT " SITE BEGAN TO OPEN UP TO WHERE LARGE ENOUGH POOLS OF WATER COLLECTED AND BECAME WATERING HOLES FOR THE SURROUNDING HABITAT. IN A DRY ENVIRONMENT,  THAT WOULD MEAN CAMELS.  IF THESE POOLS OF WATER BECAME FREQUENTED WATERING SPOTS THEN IT IS ENTIRELY FEESABLE THAT SOME OF THESE POOLS OF WATER BECAME TRAPS AS WELL.  THIS WOULD EXPLAIN THE ROLE IN FINDING SO MANY PREDATORY ANIMAL REMAINS.  IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SOME OF THESE WATERING HOLES BECAME DANGEROUS AND  THE WALLS OF LIMESTONE BECAME TO HIGH TO CLIMB BACK OUT.  THIS COULD BE THE SCENARIO THAT ETRACTED THE PREDATORS THAT ALSO BECAME TRAPPED AND EVENTUALLY FOSSILED.   

THE ROLE OF LIMESTONE RIMMED PONDS BECOMES COMPLETE WHEN OFFERING THE OTHER FOSSILS  OF SNAKES,  TURTLES,  AND EVEN BIRDS.  IN A FLOOD,  BIRDS WILL MOST LIKEY SURVIVE BECAUSE THEY CAN FLY AWAY.    THE SEDIMENT IS THE FINAL KEY TO THE PUZZLE. IN A FLOOD THERE IS ENOUGH POWER TO DREDGE UP PARTICLES AND MATERIAL FROM UNDERLYING DEPOSITS.  IF THERE ARE  NO CHUNKS OF LIMESTONE,  SHARKS TEETH OR OTHER DEBREE FROM the eocene AND UNDERLYING DEPOSITS THEN WHAT YOU HAVE NOW IS A STREAM OR RIVER  THAT HAS SINCE  REDISTRUBUTING THE FOSSILS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY BURIED IN THE LIMESTONE POOLS.  THE REASON FOR NOT HAVING THE FOSSILS DEPOSITED FROM PREVIOUS LAYERS IS THEY WERE EXPOSED AND OBLITERATED BY THE SUN AND EXPOSURE.  

REGARDLESS OF MY THEORIES,  OR THE FLOOD THEORY,  THERE IS ONE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US.  THE PRESERVATION OF THIS SITE.  THERE COMES A POINT IN HISTORY WERE WE NEED TO STEP IN AND STOP ANY ABUSE OF THE LAND WITHIN THE BOUNDERIES OF "CAMELOT".  THIS SITE IS LITERALLY THE LA-BRAE TAR PIT OF THE EAST COAST.  LETS KEEP IT THAT WAY, AND LETS KEEP IT IN A LAND TRUST THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR GENERATIONS TO DIG AND STUDY.  WITH REGARD TO THE LIMESTONE QUARRY AND ITS OWNERS,  THE STATE AND OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD BUY THIS LAND,  AND COMPENSATE THE OWNERS OF THE QUARRY FOR THIS LAND AND THE MONATARY VALUE THAT IT COULD HAVE PRODUCED FROM  IT.  A COMPLETE DRILL CORE STUDY SHOULD BE DONE TO MAP THE SITE AND ITS BOUNDERIES.

  WE HAVE LOST ENOUGH HISTORY DUE TO MANS DESTRUCTIVE WAYS ,  LETS TAKE TIME OUT AND PRESERVE A LITTLE BIT.  AFTER ALL,  ONCE ITS GONE,  YOU CANNOT GET IT BACK!! 

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE ,  PLEASE SHARE IT. IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY THE FINDS FROM THIS SITE,  THEN LETS FIGURE OUT A WAY TO PRESERVE IT.  WRITE TO MATTYS at EVENLINK.COM WITH ANY SUGGESTIONS .  

     

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