Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 282: Obelisk

checking out the rocks at Penn State

During our time at Penn State we encountered the obelisk.

"Constructed in 1896, the obelisk, also called the polylith, stands 32.7 feet high and weighs 53.4 tons. This "pile of rocks" was created the same year the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (formerly the School of Mines) came into existence. The obelisk, built by State College stonemason Michael Womer, began as a kind of answer to all the requests the college had been receiving for information on stones...The obelisk consists of 281 blocks of building stone from 139 different localities, mostly in Pennsylvania, and its components are arranged to represent the geologic column of the rocks of Pennsylvania, with the oldest rocks at the bottom and the youngest at the top. These stones include pre-cambrian rocks, the oldest in the state, to the youngest triassic rocks which were formed during the age of the dinosaurs." Learn more here.

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