In the 80s and 90s of the previous century, oil exploration parties in the Sahara and the Rub al Khali stumbled upon single meteorite finds. Since these accidental discoveries, African and Arabian deserts have turned out to be rich grounds for meteorite recovery. Ideal conditions for their in-situ preservation, prevailing over geological time frames, led to the accumulation of rocks that fell from the icy depths of space on the surface of our planet.
Prospecting the inner deserts for these elusive messengers from the asteroid belt requires deep skills and fierce determination. The most diverse characters featured in this account are aligned by an insatiable curiosity for what is behind the next dune, the next jebel, craving to determine whether not a legendary aerolite might await its discovery on the ancient plain that surely must be just beyond the horizon. This is their story.
FOR A FISTFUL OF ROCKS is the illustrated, firsthand account of five field expeditions undertaken in the African Sahara and the Arabian peninsula. From the Ténéré desert in the Republic of Niger to the Saquia al Hamra in Western Sahara, the author takes his team on a demanding journey in search of meteorites on ancient desert surfaces.
Battling with expedition logistics, outdated navigation charts and mirages, success only comes with a steep learning curve. Facing illhumored Algerian frontier police, possessive contrabandists and inquisitive tribal chieftains, it‘s evident that in meteorite prospection the human factor is critical, too.
Enriched with formidable research on the origin and genesis of different meteorite types, the account paints a gripping picture of the challenges of daily field work and the thrill of finding and holding in one‘s hand a rock that travelled for millions of years in the darkness of space. With riveting text and captivating photography, For a Fistful of Rocks tells the story of desert meteorite recovery in the 21st century.
For a Fistful of Rocks
Arid Zone Meteorite Prospection
Volume 1: From the Ténéré to Western Sahara
By Svend Buhl
Full color, 366 pages, 290 photos, maps & illustrations
€ 38.99, $ 45.25
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