Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society, Chicago, IL
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society
Chicago Rocks and Minerals Society

Our next meeting is December 10, 2016
It is also our Holiday Potluck!
So, bring your appetite & a dish to pass.

Our speaker for the evening is Thomas F. Mudloff, Ph.D. Egyptology / Biblical Studies
Topic: Substances of the Gods: Natural Materials in Ancient Egypt

Apart from the aspects of form and size, the ancient Egyptian craftsman was concerned with the nature of the materials with which he worked. Considering the various materials, which are known to have had significance for the Egyptians, the most important were probably also the most durable. Metals and stones were likely at the top of the list, but also certain woods had their own place. This would indicate that for the ancient Egyptian the properties of a substance could be just as important as it's form, size, color and so forth.

The subject is a vast one and so we will aim to limit our focus to these for which the Egyptian placed the highest regard. Those in association with a particular goddess or had some deity linked with it. In the course of this we will make an attempt to mention as many of the minerals and materials as time will allow. We will also take a look, if only briefly, at some of the mining locations which the Egyptians utilized. These ranged from places like Wawat and Kush (Nubia) to the mountains and deserts of the Sinai and beyond. Again, these usually had some connection to a particular diety.

The ancient Egyptian had a keen eye and awareness of the inherent physical, metaphysical and mythological qualities of materials. When we consider this we begin to realize the importance of all minerals, metals and stones, to this ancient society.

Thomas Mudloff, Ph.D. is a former lecturer and instructor of Egyptology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. His specialization is Egyptian and Ancient Near Eastern religion, in addition to the study of the ancient hieroglyphic language of Egypt and Mesopotamian studies. He was associated with the Discovery Channel for 4 years, was with the Field Museum for 15 years and Northwestern University for 15 years. Dr. Mudloff is a graduate of Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Salisbury University. He has taught the archaeology, history, art and science of the ancient Near East at Northwestern University, and the Adler Planetarium in addition to lecturing both in the United States and abroad. He currently teaches courses on several subjects relating to Ancient Egypt and Biblical archaeology at venues in suburban Chicago where he makes his home. His many articles cover a range of topics including the history and religion of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and he is an author of the best selling Hieroglyphs for Travelers. He was a contributing author for the book Egypt: Land and Lives of the Pharaoh's Revealed by Global Publishing of Sydney Australia, which was the featured book for the Discovery Channel Book Club. His work Magic in Ancient Egypt; Sacred Things and Secret Places, a DVD, has won documentary awards and has been used in schools around the country. Dr. Mudloff has worked in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Jordan and has lived and explored the area with the Bedouin people of this region for many years. His work in the region has included several excavations and lecturing to both travel and study groups. His web site can be located at Thomas Mudloff holds advanced degrees in Egyptology, Biblical Studies and Cross Cultural Education.

Happy Holidays

Featured Specimen
— Cavansite on Heulandite —

Cavansite on Heulandite

— from India —

Positions Available

Elections were held at our June meeting. We still have a couple of positions open.
Vice President: The Vice President is the club's Program Chairman who provides speakers for our group.
Recording Secretary: Takes notes of our General Meetings and Board meetings.
If you are interested in filling one of these positions, let us know at

Newsletter Contributions

Our newsletter, The Pick And Dop Stick, is always looking for new submissions. If you have an article you would like to submit to the newsletter, a news item, pictures of one of your rockhound adventures, or another contribution, please send it to We welcome all kinds of contributions!

Talk About Digging Things Up!

The club has recently come across old newsletters. We are in the process of digitizing them for posterity's sake. I thought it would be great to post the very first newsletter of our club here for all to see. This newsletter was originally mimeographed (remember the smell of mimeographed pages!) and later zeroxed. With some time and effort, it was scanned in and cleaned up. Click here to see what was going on in the club in October of 1946.

Geo Juniors are having thier own meetings!

Starting this September, the Geo Juniors are having their own meetings. The kids' meetings are from 6:15 pm to 7:15 pm on the same evenings as our regular meetings, the second Saturday of the month. These budding rockhounds will be learning all about what it take to become one. At the meetings, they will be working on badge work, helping to design and build their website,, related crafts and a host of other things to help them become the newest generation of rockhounds.

ALAA-American Lands Access Association

The Latest from the ALAA

The ALAA (American Lands Access Association) is the lobbying arm of the American Federation, working on behalf of rockhounds to keep public lands open and accessible to all, including the elderly and handicapped. Click here to read a few of the hot topics they are working on right now for rockhounds like us. For more information about who they are, a full list of what they are working on on, to become a member, or get involved, visit their website at:

Who needs to band together to fight public land closures?
hikers, bikers, rafters, hunters, rock hounds, fishermen/women, equestrians, campers, prospectors, miners, boaters, dirt bikes, rock crawlers, loggers, kayakers, astronomers, bird watchers, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, rock climbers, marksmen/women, 4x4s, nature photographers, jeep racers, mushroom collectors, long-range shooters, ranchers/grazers, rural communities

Utah Pushing to Remove Police Powers from BLM, Forest Service
By Pete Kasperowicz
Senior Editor, Washington Examiner (March 22, 2016)

Posted: 6/1/16

Utah's four House Republicans introduced a bill that would strip the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service of their power to police federal lands, and give that power over to local cops. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his three GOP colleagues from Utah introduced the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act. The lawmakers say the growth of policing authority in both agencies has distracted them from their main mission of managing federal land, and has created conflicts with local authorities. They also say federal agents are not as trusted as local police, and should be removed. "Federal agencies do not enjoy the same level of trust and respect as local law enforcement that are deeply rooted in local communities," Chaffetz and other lawmakers said. "This legislation will help deescalate conflicts between law enforcement and local residents while improving transparency and accountability." "The BLM and U.S. Forest Service will be able to focus on their core missions without the distraction of police functions. This is a win all around," they added. A letter the Utah Sheriffs' Association sent to Chaffetz shows that federal police agents and their local counterparts are butting heads, and that local police believe the feds are intruding on local authority.

(From the Jan.-Mar., 2016, ALAA Newsletter)

Check out our Calendar of Events for more great rockhound events!

Upcoming Club Events...

Click on the event for more information.

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I would like to give a special
"thanks" to Rod Piechowski
for his help photographing
many of the images in this site.

Our Purpose

The objectives of the Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society are to study, disseminate, and promote interest in the earth sciences - emphasizing the various aspects of geology, paleontology, paleobotany, mineralogy and the lapidary arts, as well as to collect minerals, fossil specimens, and cutting material. Plus, we tend to socialize a lot, entertain ourselves with fabulous speakers and eat great snacks!

Meetings are at 7:30 p.m. on the second Saturday
of the month (except July and August) at:

St. Peter's United Church of Christ
8013 Laramie Ave.
Skokie, IL 60077
(At Laramie and Oakton - across from
the Skokie Public Library)

If you would like more information about our club,
please contact us at
or call Jeanine at 773-774-2054.

For more information about our Meetings
and their Location, please click here.

Chicago Rocks & Minerals Society is a not-for-profit organization.

Other News

This Month in The Pick and Dop Stick

  • Anthony tells us about ghosts who will point you to treasures and gold in his hometown of Granada, Spain.
  • Read the rockhound version of "The Night Before Christmas".
  • Tickets to December's Intergem Show are on page 9.
  • The results are in! Find out who the winners were in the 2016 CRMS Pebble Poll.
  • Find out what the Geo Juniors have been getting into now.
  • In Bench Tips, how to tighten a loose hammer head and how to avoid those pesky solder lines.
  • Missed the last meeting or the summer field trips? Catch up on what you missed in CRMS November Meeting Highlights.