Playing among hills of a Scaphopod-rich Hemmorian (Miocene) deposit


Half past eight in the morning, Winterswijk (neighbourhood: Miste) is shrouded in fog. The pasture of dairy farmer Brethouwer fills slowly with determined people. All are searching for that special shell or that big shark tooth. The camera crew of Vroege Vogels is busy with filming the, maybe more interesting, unpack processs of the real fossil-enthusiasts. With complex constructions lots of sifters, shovels and storage equipment are fastened on the hand trucks and wheelbarrows. There’s a tense atmosphere and expectations are high. The last diggings found many beautiful fossils.


The euphoria is very great when organizer Stef Mermuys, after a short notice, cuts the barrier tape. Within a few minutes every one is busy with sieving. My first catch contains a Glycimeris, a piece of a Xenophora, two Naticas, a Typhis, a quite large Scaphopod and a lot of Aporrhais (Aporrhais) dingdenensis Marquet, Grigis & Landau, 2002. Fascinated by this Scaphopod and the hand of other common species, I was not concerned with what further lay ahead, but that slowly became clear later in the week.

Some great findings are a good hand of shark teeth, two great Chicoreus aquitanicus (Grateloup, 1833), an Apiocypraea subphysis septemtrionalis (Schilder, 1929), pieces of whale ribs, some turtle plates and 120 litres of other shells, shark teeth and small bones.

Interesting Scaphopods from Miste Digging 2003. Collection: A. van Oord
Interesting Scaphopods from Miste Digging 2003. Collection: A. van Oord

Hundreds of Scaphopods are in my grit. Other species than on previous diggings? No, not so far, but the composition and quantity of the species is maybe different. I’ve less material, not enough material yet to have a good view of the species diversity of Miste. I’m still looking for Scaphopods from this or previous diggings, to get a better view. Photos and suggestions can be emailed to:

I want to thank everyone who was at Miste and with whom was able to have a conversation. Of course I want to thank the Miste digging 2013 crew for their their commitment to a successful digging. People who are interested in the Vroege Vogel broadcasts: they can be looked and listened on Link and Link.

More impressions: watch the photo album.

[I want to thank Anton Janse for some additions]

© 2013, Josine Voogt
© 2013, Josine Voogt