The final day of the dig! We are all tired, sore, a little cranky……and in some ways the last day of the dig is always the longest!
The final day entails filling in all the trenches (with precise excavating!), bagging and cataloguing the artefacts, washing and packing away the equipment, returning the infamous portaloo (the crapper!), and making sure the dig site has been rehabilitated and left in a somewhat better condition than when we started.
There was a flurry of activity trying to get the last of the sieving completed! Directions from the Archeos was to keep sieving buckets until it was tools down and the excavator arrived. This left us with no time to sort through the bone bed pile, and at one stage I looked up from my bathtub of doom, to see Ben elbow deep trying to bag up every last particle of the bone bed into tagged bags. I quickly abandoned the sieving to help as I knew that every bag would offer a treasure trove of bones and teeth, and even as we were scooping the samples into the bags there were exclamations and profanities as we found megafauna teeth and bone.
You can’t see the tears in that photo, but I assure you Ben was crying with desperation. The photo also doesn’t show the shit shirt he is wearing……wait for it……
…..yes…..he is actually wearing a shirt that says “Bieber”……which made us all cry!
The excavator arrived, much to our disappointment and began returning the piles of sediment into the trenches in the same order that it was removed in an effort to maintain the stratigraphy somewhat. In no time, all our wonderful piles of treasure had been returned to it’s original places…..and we began to pack up and say our goodbyes……
I have to say, I loved working with everyone involved in this dig. I loved getting to know them, their different backgrounds, their diverse interests and specialties, but above all, their patience, their great senses of humour, and their passion for Geology and Palaeontology. I loved getting to know James with his really, really interesting dress sense, Jamie who was one of the kindest people I have ever met, “Not Amy” (aka Jess) who complained about never having a nickname and was awarded with “Not Amy” as she carried around a cup with Amy written on it (her girlfriend!) and managed to confuse the hell out of everyone for the first few days! The amazing Sophie and the quiet Lorraine, who never once complained about the hard work but always seemed to be working hard! Finn and Tim who were so very patient with Elliott and always seemed willing to engage in somewhat erratic conversations with an 11 year old! And of course, Ben, who provided an endless cascade of knowledge, laughter and encouragement – his passion for palaeontology was so inspiring!
We started as strangers and we left as colleagues and friends…..and thanks to Tim for ceremoniously tagging Elliott into the Paeontology fold!
….and the bloody smiley face you drew on my car window with mud is still there, you bastard!
We eventually departed tired, sore and somewhat bewildered, to go home and start washing……and washing…..and washing……!