Relics in the Sand – November 28, 2012

Today we ventured ashore at Cumberland Island on a mission. Scott and Kim had shared with us the top secret location of piles of dredged sand. We were prepared to do an archeological dig on the site in search of fossilized shark teeth. Matt and Jessica joined us. We were armed with plastic bags in which to harvest the teeth, granola bars, pop-tarts, and water. There was no telling how many hours or days the dig would last. We had no digging or sifting devices of any kind but were prepared to sacrifice our bare hands for the effort.

We walked to the end of the park service road which placed us on a silt pile on the outskirts of the marsh. We cautiously treaded across the muddy sand. What if there was a trap, a soft spot, quick sand perhaps to deter us from locating the top secret piles! Our keen eyes were on the ground in search of clues that we were on the right track. Hoof prints informed us that the ground was safe, strong enough to support a marsh tackie. There must be something on the other side. Ah ha! Our first indication that sharks really do exist and had indeed swum near Cumberland Island. With motivation in hand, we continued our pursuit of the road which would lead us to the top secret piles of dredged sand.

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Safely across the silt we were relieved not only to discover the road, but to discover that it would be easily followed. The marsh tackies encouraged us onward.

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Suddenly, there they were! At least five piles of dredged sand magnificently raised like sunbeams their brilliance shone light on our cloudy, dismal day. What relics might we find, what treasures of the past, how many shark teeth, sea shells, and animal bones might these piles have preserved inside!?

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And was this supernatural, pure white marsh tackie leading us to the most plentiful pile?

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We started the dig straight away. We first (and fortunately) unearthed this handy sifter that had been left behind by the earliest archeologists to have explored the site. This primitive technology was most impressive; it enabled us to sift through massive quantities of sand in mere minutes! We also utilized resources such as oyster shells, sticks, and the bark of trees to shovel sand.

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At the end of what seemed like days, we declared our hour and 30-minute excavation complete. Three piles of dredged sand had been sifted and we had found handfuls of fossilized shark teeth. We began the long journey back to our boats, satisfied from the day’s hard work and reward!

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