Fossil Necklace: chronologically ordered beads from the planet's history


Katie Paterson's Fossil Necklace is a gorgeous piece whose each bead is a chronologically ordered artifact from a significant moment in our planetary history, signposting events like the cretaceous, the rise of hominids, and more. (this PDF has detailed, piece-by-piece labels)


‘Fossil Necklace is a string of worlds, with each bead modestly representing a major event in the evolution of life through a vast expanse of geological time. From the mono-cellular origins of life on earth to the shifting of the continents, the extinction of the Cretaceous period triggered by a falling meteorite, to the first flowering of flowers, it charts the development of our species and affirms our intimate connection to the evolution of those alongside us. Each fossil has been individually selected from all corners of the globe, and then carved into spherical beads in a secondary process of excavation.’ Guy Haywood, Kettle’s Yard.

Katie Paterson, Fossil Necklace (via Making Light)

Notable Replies

  1. Lobes says:

    They look like the most ironic rosary beads ever.

  2. Eksrae says:

    My version was filthier, but yours is funnier.

  3. Talk about cramming history.

  4. I'm usually not particularly interested in jewelry (though I can appreciate it in practice when utilized particularly well) but I quite like this.

    The geologic time scale is perhaps the most basic and essential reference used by geologists, so it has a special place in most geoscientists' hearts.

    I'm not a paleontologist or particularly interested in fossils (though I understand the fascination many people have with them) but this is definitely a more compelling piece/collection than something similar done with plain rocks and minerals would be -- though actually I still think that'd be cool.

    In fact I'd like to see displays set up like this in museums (comprised of fossils along with rocks and minerals to fill out the rest of time), so you could walk by and touch all of geologic time in a few seconds. A lot of times the rock and mineral rooms are pretty boring (though I'm sure I have a different perspective on it than most).

  5. Cool (apparently my post must be more than size characters long... Fascists!)

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