Documentation and survey

In addition to the field journal, the compilation of catalogues and a system of cards facilitate the coding and subsequent data processing of excavations finds in electronic databases.


Each collected movable finding, group of finds or rock sample is accompanied by a card which records all the necessary information such as the code number, type or species, scientific name, date, position, coordinates, altitude, dimensions, brief description of the find, short description of the conservation status, photos and drawings.

The documentation of each fossiliferous position requires a description, photographs, and a drawing.

The drawings aim to depict each stage of the excavation in detail to facilitate the study, treatment and assessment of fossils.

It is also important to carefully map the entire excavation pit, as well as the stratigraphy of the volcanic deposits. The fossil sites are mapped as a whole and in cross sections. The drawing for each position is based on accurate measurements of fixed points established by surveying instruments, in order to accurately portray the position of each find. The supervisor of each excavation ensures that measurements are diligently obtained. For measurements, the following is used:

• rulers and tape measures to measure distances
• a spirit level to indicate horizontality
• a plumb line to determine verticality and calculate the lean of standing fossilized trunks
• a geological compass for determining the orientation of the geological strata in the area
• a portable GPS
• a diff erential GPS or theodolite
• 3D scanner


Detailed photography is carried out throughout all stages of the excavation. Each phase of the excavation site is photographed as much as the fossil itself and its precise location. In each shot, a photographic scale is set next to the object to determine its size, as well as a north indicator for orientation.