We've spent the weekend out and about, revisiting a few localities, finding a new one, and then returning to the cabañas to discuss and write manuscripts. Today was a special blend of fieldwork at Cerro Ballena, twinned with museum work at Museo Paleontologico Caldera, in town.
Historically, Caldera has staked its claim on being the port of call for major mining operations in the region, especially around the nearby city of Copiapo. Long-distance sea freight has made Caldera even more important, and many companies continue to set up shop in the vincity. Late afternoon, near our beach house, or home base. (Photo NDP)
A freighter anchored in Bahia Caldera, likely from India, loaded in ore, just as it was even 100 years ago in this small desert town. Cerro Ballena is in the center view of the backdrop, cut by the Pan-American Highway now running on strips both north and south. The entire 2011 quarry is now gone, but many questions remain to be answered about the locality. (Photo NDP).
The skeletons of Cerro Ballena, in their current state, at the Museo Paleontologico Caldera. Several dozen jackets -- many the size of a small boat -- along with many more dozen crates. Here, Chilean graduate students help label, triage and examine the material. Hard to believe that all of these fossils once covered the entire 2011 quarry locality, but, thankfully, they're all in a museum now. (Photo NDP)