The Galt Museum has lined up some fascinating programs to support their brand new exhibit on Southern Alberta dinosaurs, beginning with the first Café Galt presentation this Wednesday (Oct. 21) featuring Cardston teacher Shayne Tolman.
Tolman discovered the Wally’s Beach archeological site in the lake bed of St. Mary Reservoir, located just outside of Lethbridge while on a family outing in 1996.
In doing so, he uncovered a veritable treasure trove of fossils and archaeological knowledge.
“They have uncovered some incredible stuff there,” Tolman enthused.
“Every time the wind blows, it uncovers something new,” Tolman said, who has been exploring the site for 11 years. There are all kinds of rare, one-of-a-kind fossils as well as woolly mammoth, camel and saber tooth tiger tracks.
“Those are just in the dirt, they aren’t fossilized. Because of the wind, there are layers up on layers of them.
And that’s living history, when you look at bones, that’s dead history, if you can call it that, but here you can actually see how the animals interacted with each other,” he said, emphasizing it is illegal to explore and remove artifacts from sites without the proper permits.
“And you can see human tracks interacting with these extinct animals,” he said adding a couple years ago, some high school students were recruited to help create a 80 square metre cast of some of these tracks.
“That’s a story in itself,” he said adding he will be speaking about the background, discovery and scientific investigation of one of North America’s most significant prehistorical sites.
“ It’s great to get these students involved in local heritage, not just archeology or paleontology,” he said. Because the site is so fragile, the only time Tolman can explore it is during the winter and that’s only when it isn’t covered with snow.