A few cool things that I’ve found lately while excavating the casts from the Carter/Kerr-McGee bison bonebed…
- All in the same cast of at least one skull and maybe jaw plus ribs and random foot bones: lots of tiny (1-3mm or smaller) specs of charcoal and red ochre, plus a ~1cm chunk and some specs of a dark yellow-brown ochre. George Frison did “smudge tests” with them and was satisfied that that is indeed what we had. The red ochre, which I’d never seen archaeologically, looked exactly like what you’d see if one of those terracotta pots were dematerialised into 1mm specs.
- A “trash” deposit of some ribs, pieces of a sternum/costal cartilage, a partial ilium that was nearly destroyed, an atlas that is disintegrating the more you look at it (with a ~2cm chunk of burnt wood inside it which we might want to send for dating), a piece of burnt whoknowswhat bone, pieces of what are looking more and more like a smashed-up femur and/or humerus (needs further refitting to make sense of it, but one of the chunks which I’m certain is humerus has a spiral fracture), pieces of a thoracic vert, some probable sharp-tooth-punctured bones, aaaaaaaaaand… drum roll… at least one rib from an antelope-sized animal! Which is the first of such found at the site thus far. Weehoo. It’s truly looking like a midden area of sorts (this one cast anyway).
There’s more, but that’s all that’s stuck in my head at the moment. It’s really looking more and more like a secondary butchering area, since there are so few remains of vertebrae. But, we are finding SOME axial elements, and that ilium, and an enormous pubis and ischium (from different casts - will cross-check later to see if they are related).
Unfortunately since most surfaces of the bones are either eroded or covered in Elmer’s glue….
…I haven’t found any cut marks. No rodent gnaw marks, just a few likely canine gnawing marks. Definitely some hammerstone/anvil scars, though, and spiral fractures, plus some “interesting” fracture patterns that might be what I’m hoping to find, but… well, we’ll see.