In Search Of Karl Mayer-Eymar


Book Details

Weight 0.41 kg
Dimensions 21 × 14.8 × 1.3 cm



Chalk Stream Books

ISBN (Hardback)




Page Extent


About The Author

David Hall

David Hall is a retired engineer and project manager with a Masters Degree in Business Administration. During his career he has worked on many highly significant and important national assignments from Concorde to the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

Following his move to New Milton in Hampshire on the South Coast, David soon learnt that the Cliffs at Barton on Sea, which lie within the parish of New Milton, were a source of well preserved fossils and were internationally famous for their geological importance. However it was not until discovering that Barton had given its name to a period in the geological calendar called Bartonian that David became curious to understand the origin of this term, especially as the local community were largely unaware of this apparently important fact. Initial research established that the name Bartonian was first coined by the Swiss geologist Karl Mayer-Eymar and thus set David on the path to learn more about the man and how and why he conceived the term Bartonian.

Karl Mayer-Eymar was a 19th century Swiss geologist and an expert in the Tertiary period. He was a complex character, multitalented, introverted and possibly autistic. He visited many locations in Europe and North Africa amassing a personal collection of fossils estimated at 500,000. He was the first to attempt to date the age of the Earth using data from the natural world. This biography follows Karl from his birth in Marseille, his childhood in Rennes and St. Gallen, to his education at the University of Zurich and the Academie des Sciences in Paris, and his lifelong work as a lecturer at Zurich Polytechnic. Karl’s life story concludes with his last will and testament which was referred to the Swiss Federal Council, the highest court in Switzerland, as certain conditions could not be met within the law of the day. The focus here is on Karl the man rather than Karl the geologist as his persona and character had a strong influence on his major scientific and academic achievements which are not overlooked, especially where they relate to the cliffs at Barton on Sea.