We started off the morning making repairs. Thunderstorms swept through Caroline County last night, and high winds damaged our tarp frame. We managed to throw something together to allow the frame to last through at least the rest of the week, and eventually turned our attention to the pit.
Fortunately, the collapsed tarp frame didn’t damage the bones, and the drainage ditches we dug on the first day worked; there was no significant flooding in the pit. There was some silt draped across some bones, but after around 90 minutes we were finally back into our routine.
Our primary goal today was to remove the last of the weathered bones in the front of the pit (above). These included several vertebrae, at least one rib, and several bones we haven’t been able to identify. Even though the bones are weathered, they’re in pretty good shape and not heavily lithified, so we decided to jacket them. This promised to be fairly awkward, because of the rib sticking off to the right which is deeper than the other bones. This required some significant bracing, even though the jacket was pretty small, but here’s the result:
A few hours later we successfully flipped this jacket. With these vertebrae out of the way, we now have a clear path to the dentary that’s in the back of the pit. With a little luck we might have that excavated tomorrow.