Carmel Church Day 6

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Today’s progress was incremental, as we continued to follow the bones we’ve found over the last few days. We did turn up a few new items today, including the piece of wood shown above. Carmel Church wood is not mineralized, and as a result it’s extremely soft and difficult to recover intact. This is one of the larger pieces we’ve been able to recover.

Several things have been slowing us down on this excavation. One is the large number of rocks we’re encountering, not just the huge ones but the more typical gravel and cobbles we find at Carmel Church. Even the smaller rocks seem to be more abundant in this pit, and they’re tough to dig through without damaging the bones. Another issue is that this part of the quarry is somewhat weathered. One of the weathering products is an iron crust that fuses the sediment, rocks, and bones together, and makes the bones hard to spot until you break them. It all combines to make for a slow and at times frustrating excavation.

And yet we’re still making progress. Here is one of our two current productive areas:

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And a marked-up version with the bones outlined in blue:

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One of the potential ribs Chip found yesterday turned out to be a rock, but two other ribs turned up (near the top of the image). The bone near the center of the image is a vertebra, and there are several unidentified bones around the big rock on the right.

We’ll be working through the weekend, so I’ll have more to report tomorrow.

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3 Responses to Carmel Church Day 6

  1. Why doesn’t Carmel Church wood mineralize?

  2. altondooley says:

    Wood in the Calvert in general is often not fully mineralized. You need some secondary mineral brought in in solution. While there’s a lot of that at Carmel Church, it seems to preferentially precipitate around rocks and on the outsides of bones and wood, rather than in them.

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