27 March 2011

Cleaning and the Media

Spring cleaning started early this year with Pit 91 glopping and maintenance.
Since it is a dirty job, Laura donned our recently donated fishing waders/frog suit

Pit 91 Drama

Michelle did some reverse basting to remove water sitting
around the fossils.

Removing water

Here Karin gets those tough to reach support beams with
her vacuum hose extender handle to suck up the dirt
and leaves that Michelle bravely swept to the edge.
Extended vaccuming

Michelle showcases our new Pit 91 decorations


And here's an ancient grid number I found on the wall!
Pit 91 grid number

Our even bigger excitement than cleaning Pit 91 in March was Media Day.
We prepared the compound and Box 1 and 14 for numerous visitors. Both
large fossil deposits from these boxeswere well exposed and shined and the
reporters were given direction on where to stand.
Box 1 ready for visitors

Along with showcasing the boxes, we also had a table of fossils in the compound
including an unprepared large tree branch, some prepared Little Timmy elements
and 6 prepared saber-toothed kitten radii.

photo by Nola Milner

In the lab a table was set up to show off Clyde's skull and mandible, juvenile bison from Box 7B, saber-toothed kitten mandibles and maxillae, elements of Fluffy, Donatello, oak leaves, beetle eaten pine, and millipede.


The fishbowl lab showed off the recently opened skull of Zed and here's the
Project 23 crew standing around him at the end of the day

John and Shelley gave a speech to numerous reporters about what has been
discovered in Project 23 for the last two years and then the reporters were
released to the table, boxes, and lab to interview us.

Laura on TV
photo by Nola Milner

Here are some links to articles as a result:

LA Times (Blog): http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2011/03/la-brea-tar-pits.html

La Opinion (Print): http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/la-california/2011/3/10/mamut-cuenta-la-historia-de-la-244025-1.html#commentsBlock

Trekaroo (Web): http://blog.trekaroo.com/2011/03/14/monday-madness-win-a-family-four-pack-of-tickets-for-the-page-museumla-brea-tarpits/

URCA (Radio): http://www.yourcaliforniashow.com/radio-links/prehistoricbonesnearlosangeles-homebrewing101-andmuchmore

LA Weekly (Web): http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/03/la_brea_tar_pits_new_fossils.php

KPFK (Radio): www.hearinthecity.org

Plus, close to 300 media outlets ran the AP story from when we were interviewed two days before Media Day


Here are the excavators looking our best on Media Day.

photo by Nola Milner

Continuing on with cleaning, last week we poked through the collection of animal skeletons that are in various states of decay in the "monkey shed." With eagerness and sometimes slight reluctance, Michelle took an inventory to show her forensic anthropology classmates who might assist in preparing them for storage in our modern comparative collection in the lab.


Karin found a shy new friend

And another....the bear labelled "Bozo"IMGP0802

and an apparently to Michelle, an absurd pelican beak

The fun never stops here, even with the recent torrential rain.

During lunchtime the canopy over deposit 14 collapsed from the weight of water

We also brought out the warm and cozy Tyvec suits that Bruce donated

And if you need a fossil fix (aside from looking at our great work in pictures taken by the media), here's a broken bison rib in box 14 currently exposed. At the top left there is a bison sacrum.


And check out our new scaffolding next to Box 1, complete with canopy!


We are ready for spring/summer digging!