Wednesday, August 6, 2008

June 28 - July 4: Part II

So we had our fun prospecting, and now it is back to the hard work of quarrying. The crew have exposed the bone in the upper quarry and gotten it to the point where we can begin to jacket it. The quarry seems to be running out of bone, and when we get the big jackets out, we will be ready to clean up and focus all the efforts on the lower quarry that is producing some really great stuff. The crew has done a great job of exposing the bones, and they pedestal the blocks so that we can form the jackets around them. As you can see from NCSU student Alex McCall, it is sometimes necessary to be a contortionist to do this job. It’s a good thing we have skinny students.
NCSU student Alex, clearly head over heels enjoying his work!

They finally got it pedestaled, which means that they necked the bottom sediments to make it funnelshaped. Then, because it was such a big block, they made tunnels in the sediment supporting it, so that they could pass 2x4s and plaster strips through them for support. Finally we are ready to add the plaster, which can sometimes be a real mess. If I am involved, I usually wear as much as ends up on the bones…
Jacketing a pelvis is a lot like being in kindergarten!
More plaster on me than the jacket, maybe! Look at all those white hands!!
Like Mickey Mouse with plaster gloves.
At last the bones are top-jacketed and ready to flip. Bob will come and collect all these jackets with Big Red, because it is probably asking too much of grad students to carry them up a 75 degree incline….I don’t know though, maybe we should try?

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