Visitor Information

On Saturday, May the 12 at 2 pm there is a a plan to visit the Gray Fossil Site. The cost of the trip will be 3-4 dollars (depending on the number of participants) and will include an "all-access pass" and guided tour of the facilities. A description of the site is below. Please contact Robert Beeler beelerr@etsu.edu to sign up for the tour or for more information.

The Gray Fossil Site is a Late Miocene-epoch assemblage of fossils located near the unincorporated town of Gray in Washington County, Northeast Tennessee, and dates from 7 to 4.5 million years BCE). The current dig at the Gray Fossil Site was determined to have been the location of a semi-circular sinkhole that once harbored a pond environment over a long period of time and is now yielding the remains of the ancient plants and animals that lived, watered, and died within the then watery sinkhole. Among the many vertebrate fossils found at the Gray Fossil Site are the those of frogs, turtles and tapirs and recovered fossil records represent finds from approximately one percent of the total area of the Gray Fossil Site that has been explored.

The Gray Fossil Site is also the world's largest tapir fossil find and is yielding new and rare discoveries such as the most complete skeleton of Teleoceras (an ancient rhinoceros) yet found in eastern North America, the tooth of a new species of red panda that marks only the second record of this animal in North America (the first red panda fossils found in North America come from the state of Washington), and a newly identified species of an ancient plant-eating badger.

The Gray fossil Site official webpage