Harpes sp. trilobite prep-story

Would you believe this non-spiny bug can be very difficult to prep...?


Preparation of Harpes usually makes you appreciate Moroccan experts digging and prepping trilobites!


Would you believe deals so good you'll think you’re dreaming don't exist when it comes to real quality Moroccan trilobites? It often turns out a bargain on your favourite auction site was not what it looked like (most cheaply sold Moroccan trilobites (with "fancy" descriptions nontheless) are massacred quick-prepared damaged specimens and some even fake).


Harpes might look like an easy trilobite to prep on photos (and yes, easier as spiny Moroccan trilobites), but often the sticky very hard matrix of Bou dib with low contrast means not a job for beginners. Matrix sticks to the skin, especially sticky in the areas of preglabelar shield and poores, fused together and limonite can make prep-work a lot more difficult. Harpes can be a problem just to start prepping, nearly always in the Eifelian a Harpes cross section is close to invisible (low contrast between matrix and trilobite).


Moroccan diggers trenching hard layers of stone using wedges, pry bars and sledges and splitting hard blocks in search for cross sections like Harpes are undervalued! And so are Moroccan preparators of decent and good quality. Low contrast between shell and very hard matrix is not really what you can call an easy to find break or an easy prep (without making too much damage).


Anyway, despite separation in last microns, and shell on the brim about as thin as paper, fused together with matrix, easy to damage, the plan was to work fast. Sticky, but a relief compared to the Koneprusia prep. Forgot to take more pics before and during prep, just a few, if there are any doubts about authenticity.



Harpes trilobite preparation
Harpes sp. from Bou dib, preped by Alex Žagar. Probable bite mark on the side of the brim?

After close to a dozzen hours...

A little later, most of the trilobite revealed...

Fin! Natural Harpes sp. from Bou dib, preped by Author. There's a ventral one preped on the other side, but perhaps more pics of that one later...