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Morocco's Fossil Industry: Background information when reading The Forgiven

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The Forgiven

A Novel

by Lawrence Osborne

The Forgiven
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Morocco's Fossil Industry

The Forgiven is, in part, a wonderful travelogue which explores deep into the heart of Morocco, in particular into the lives of the Moroccan fossil diggers.

Morocco is rich in a variety of fossils and because parts of the country's Anti-Atlas mountains (a part of the Atlas mountains also called Lesser Atlas or Little Atlas) date back more than 500 million years they are overflowing with them. Limestones from the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian periods abound. During the early Cambrian period, as improbable as it might seem now, these parts of Morocco were covered by sea, and animals such as trilobites were extremely common. Trilobites are extinct marine arthropods with an exoskeleton. Because their skeletons were hard and resisted compaction, they were easily fossilized within these limestone rocks. Trilobite fossils are found all over the world but they are especially abundant in the regions of Morocco that The Forgiven visits - Erfoud and the rural Tafilat area in the ...

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