The conservation of bones on site often consisted of merely careful cleaning of specimens followed by impregnation with a consolidant. When more fragile or less well preserved bones were found the fossils were removed in plaster jackets. The process for excavating and jacketing fossils involves first clearing a pedestal of sediment in which the fossil is located. Then the bone and pedestal are covered in tissue paper and silver foil. Then strips of scrim (coarse material) soaked in water with plaster of Paris are wrapped around the pedestal. When the plaster sets the pedestal is undercut and then turned upside down. In the lab the specimen is then excavated more carefully using glue and consolidants.

Photo 16. Finding the first of the two immature scapulae in Trench B.


Photo 17. Exposing the first of the two immature scapulae in Trench B.


Photo 18. Pedestaling the first of the two immature hippo scapulae in Trench B. The second scapula is starting to appear below it.


Photo 19. Jacketing of the two immature hippo scapulae. One is already out the ground in a jacket in the background.


Photo 20. Excavating a jacket with a hippo scapula

Photo 21. The finished product.

More Photos

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The excavation was funded by English Nature and the Aggregrates Levy Sustainability Fund. The Natural Environment Research Council, Quarternary Rsearch Association and Royal Society have also funded this work.