The Complete Artist’s Guide to Morocco: Part IV – Fossils

Ancient Arts

Morocco is a dry, sandy dessert-y place where some trees grow, but millions of fossils reside. Maybe the most ideal place for retirement, but for some million year-old species, it is!


If you get a chance to visit Morocco, you’ll probably see fossils on every street corner, but like many other things sold there, you have be sure that what you’re paying for is authentic. Luckily, I was able to visit a dig site where I watched the rough stuff get smoothed, polished and primed for resale.

IMG_4452 IMG_4428

The fossils in Morocco range from small, shrimp and beetle-looking creatures to giant nautilus shells, bigger than dinner plates. If you have the money and the personal taste, then it’s possible to not only buy a granite countertop or sink from Morocco, but also to buy a granite or marble table with fossils in it.

Not a bad conversation piece for the living room.
Not a bad conversation piece for the living room.

I found this fossil art to be interesting simply because you start with a living, organic specimen that once walked or em, scuttled the earth. While the sedimentary arrangement of fossils is luck of the draw, the polishing, cutting, and framing of all the fossils together requires intense focus, visioning skills, and attention to detail.

Water is poured on the slabs to reveal what the marble and granite will look like once it’s polished.

For poor college students like me, there are smaller pieces that have been fashioned into wonderful keepsakes and tabletop accessories.



I ended up snagging a 200 million year-old nautilus shell, aka ‘ammonite’. There were several versions of ammonite, some of which looked like a mini-nautilus countertop, since they were so polished. But I preferred an ammonite specimen that retained its rough organic texture, but still had some human touches to even out the rough edges.

A naturally beautiful shell to support my books at home.
A naturally beautiful shell to support my books at home.

At the dig site store there seemed to be something for everyone. Since Morocco is so full of fossils, this is probably true.


Sarah Ogar

A culture-addict who has dabbled in film production, screen writing, stand-up comedy, theater production, and much more.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!