Field of Science

A geologist riddle #6

A new riddle – what was the following sketch meant to depict and what should it be good for?


  1. I remember reading about this in connection with the 2007 bicentenary of the Geological Society of London, still the UK's pre-eminent geological organization. I think it's one of the sketches for the coat of arms of the new society. William Buckland was the president at the time, I think, but I think Henry de la Beche did the design. You can see some resemblance to his famous painting of Dorset in the Jurassic, Duria Antiquior.

    Unfortunately, the society has not yet woken up to the idea of open access, so I can't find anything on the web to back any of this up!

  2. The quartering is dubious, but I like the chevron angular anticline between the three ammonites proper. Is the first quarter a waterfall? I'm guessing a possible coat of arms for the town of Lyme.

    (Can't quite read the Latin - terrai xxx xxx abdite dineo?)

  3. Skip that - it's the coat of arms suggestion that was offered for the Geological Society under the presidency of William Buckland in 1828. As a newly Chartered Society, they were entitled to one.

    Alas, to get access to the entire article requires a sub, which I would prefer to keep for my budget the next time I hit Wunderkammer in Melbourne.

  4. That´s correct:

    I´m not sure what the motto should be, these victorians geologists had a peculiar "scripture"

    "Terrai hen?tus gerutantes(??) abdita ?imb" (made not many sense

  5. terrai penitus scrutantes abdita ....something

    A similar quote is "terrai penitus scrutantes abdita ferro"
    = With pick-axe probing round the hidden realms
    deep in the earth

    (From De Rerum Natura - Lucretius)


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