Before preparation 1/3
Before preparation 2/3
Before preparation 3/3
The finished specimen
The Courcelles site has burnt itself into the memory of many fossil enthusiasts because of the excellently preserved Albian ammonites. It is too bad that this site has not been accessible for decades. In rare cases, however, the last almost forgotten remains of unprepared finds still turn up, after waiting for years in dusty boxes to be uncovered. I recently had a lucky opportunity to prepare such a piece.
The ammonites from Courcelles are usually preserved with a stable calcite shell and can relatively well be blasted due to the softer surrounding rock. It becomes more difficult when, as in this case, it is a spiny representative of Douvilleiceras, which sometimes forms very long and pointed spines. The present piece was in two halves, and some spines had to be transferred from the counterpart. Fragments of the shell that had been lost by striking the stone in the field were restored and damaged spines were reconstructed. The ammonite was fully uncovered around the venter up to the long spines of the back in order to show its defensive nature in the best possible way.
Fossil: Douvilleiceras mammilatum SCHLOTHEIM 1813
Locality: Courcelles, France
Formation: Lower Cretaceous, Albian
Diameter: about 9.5 cm
Work required: 41 hours
Collection: Raimund Albersdörfer and Tine Erdmann