Rochdale Observer

Rare scorpion was jewel of fossil finds

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IN THIS week’s history feature we’re taking you back a bit further than usual – 240 million years ago, to be exact.

For it was in Rochdale that fascinatin­g prehistori­c remnants were unearthed by workmen from the early 1890s onwards.

Experts were shaken by the finds made at Sparth Bottoms, which had long been a haven for fossil hunters since fossilised plants often turned up there.

But in September 1894, workmen went one better by uncovering a whole fossilised tree.

And six years later, the foreman of the brickworks found a clay nodule of ironstone containing a ‘beautiful fossil crustacean.’

Various other crablike forms were found over the next few years before the big breakthrou­gh in 1903.

This was an entirely new species of scorpion, dubbed Eoscorpius Sparthensi­s in honour of Sparth Bottoms.

Touchstone­s still has a cast of the scorpion fossil on display, the only example of the species ever found.

For more pictures like this, please visit the Touchstone Archives at www.link4life.org.

 ??  ?? ●●The only example of the scorpion Eoscorpius Sparthensi­s which was discovered in 1903 ●●This picture was taken on September 25, 1894 and shows a coal worker with the remnants of a fossilised tree
●●The only example of the scorpion Eoscorpius Sparthensi­s which was discovered in 1903 ●●This picture was taken on September 25, 1894 and shows a coal worker with the remnants of a fossilised tree
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? ●●The brickworks at Sparth Bottoms where many of the fossils were found
●●The brickworks at Sparth Bottoms where many of the fossils were found
 ??  ?? ●●Workmen with a fossilised tree discovered in the 1890s
●●Workmen with a fossilised tree discovered in the 1890s

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