An exhibition taking people on a trip back in time millions of years is coming to Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies.

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Type=image;ImageID=7447;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=A fossilised fern leaf;TitleClass=strong;

The Riches Beneath Us, which proved a hit when it was on show at Bantock House Museum earlier this year, reveals the Black Country's amazing geological legacy.

It features around 100 artefacts which give a glimpse into the region's landscape millions of years ago, when it was a tropical forest or shallow coral reef - including fossils which have been collected from the Black Country's collieries and limestone mines.

A highlight is the 315 million year old "Coseley Spider" - an internationally important example of the species Eophrynus Prestvicii discovered locally which shows the early evolution of spiders - as well as a fossilised fern leaf which fell from a prehistoric tree more than 300 million years ago and a 165 million year old tooth from one of the Jurassic world's most vicious predators, the pliosaur.

They come from a collection of thousands of geological items stored at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, most of which were donated to the city in 1911 by local geologist Dr John Fraser.

The Riches Beneath Us is on show at Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies' Molineux Hotel Building, Whitmore Hill, from Tuesday (15 December, 2015) until Thursday 4 February, 2016.

Chris Broughton, sometimes known as Doctor Fossil, will be talking about the collection amassed by Dr Fraser in 2 free talks, one at the Archives on Wednesday (16 December) and a second at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Friday (18 December). The talks are free but places should be reserved in advance by calling 01902 552055.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Economy, said: "The Riches Beneath Us is a fascinating exhibition which proved very popular with visitors to Bantock House Museum. I'd encourage people who haven't yet seen it to come along to Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies and discover how the Black Country may have looked millions of years ago."

Wolverhampton Archives and Local Studies is open Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm, Wednesdays from 10am to 7pm and Thursdays from 10am to 4pm and entry is free. For more details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6114;Title=Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage;Target=_blank; or call 01902 552480.

released: Friday 11 December, 2015