We continued working into the face of the pit today, gradually working back into the hillside. Our biggest holdup is that the east side of the pit (just out of view in the foreground) is much more deeply weathered than I had expected. The weathered sediment becomes cemented together, and it’s difficult to find the bones without damaging them (it’s difficult to prepare them in the lab, too). We’re close to making our first jacket, at the west end of the pit; this is material that we first partially uncovered last April.
One of our volunteers this week is Christa Winingham, a 1st-grade teacher at Monroeton Elementary School in Reidsville, NC (wearing blue in the photo above). Christa, Brett, and I are in the early stages of a project to increase the level of early elementary science teaching and to integrate it across the curriculum (for example, using science to teach writing). As one of our early experiments, Christa told her students that she was coming to Carmel Church to dig, read some of the past blog posts to them, and asked them to write about what they thought she would find here. Some of the results are shown below (I’ll probably post some additional examples throughout the week):
I’m not really sure what this thing is. The split at one end appears to be a real structure. there’s a deep grove along one side (lower picture); I’m pretty sure this was a groove rather than a canal, even though the edges are damaged. The swelling near mid-length appears to be a healed break. When I first saw this in the ground I thought it was a rib. Now it looks more like a gigantic fish spine, but I’m not convinced that’s correct either. Anyone have any ideas?