We finished up this summer’s Carmel Church excavation today. The main large bone left to remove was the anterior part of the dentary that we jacketed yesterday (above). We left this part of the bone out of the jacket to protect other bones further in the wall. With the back part of the dentary out of the way, we were able to separate the anterior dentary from the other bones and remove it.
That leaves us with several unidentified bones still in the wall. Collecting them will require a couple of weeks work, since we have several feet of overlying sediment that has to be removed first. Since I’m out of time and money for this excavation, those bones have been placed under a temporary jacket to protect them from weathering. They’ll be the first things we look at when we return for our fall excavation.
In the end we recovered a fair amount of bone, considering that we were opening a new pit. The highlights were the three baleen whale lower jaws and the squamosal, but we also recovered a few hundred shark teeth, numerous bones from bony fish, and a smattering of odontocete material.
I’d like to thank all the dedicated excavators who braved the heat to work with me this summer: Amanda, Laura, Drew, Carter, Tim, Keith, Mike, and Josh. I’d also like to again thank Martin Marietta for continuing to provide access to Carmel Church for VMNH.