Removal of Plaster from Folsom Wedge Reveals Dense Bone

On Wednesday Feb. 11, students completed augering exercises in the northeast area of the site, revealing what may be intact basin sediments underlying the modern eolian sand and backdirt. The age of these basin deposits and how they relate to stratigraphy of the site is not yet clear.

Tresa Florio and Donald Brothers collect Auger sample NE-2 in the northeast area.

Tresa Florio and Donald Brothers collect Auger Sample NE-2 in the northeast area.

Upon completion of the augering, we returned to the weatherport to remove the upper surface of the plaster jacket covering the Folsom wedge. Students cut around the circumference of the block and divided the surface into three sections.

The top of the plaster divided into three sections for removal.

The top of the plaster divided into three sections for removal.

By carefully peeling back the layers of plaster, burlap, and paper, the top of the Folsom-age sediments was exposed. Dates on newspaper associated with the plaster verify that the block was jacketed in 1963 or later. It was immediately apparent that the block contains dense bone.

Peeling back the first section of plaster.

Peeling back the first section of plaster.

Fully exposed interior surface of Folsom wedge.

Fully exposed interior surface of Folsom wedge.

Despite over a week of rehydration, the interior of the plaster was in a state of dessication. Bone, including scapulae and long bones most likely of Bison antiquus, and sediments are dry, brittle, and extremely fragile. The Folsom wedge, along with the smaller Clovis block were covered with sheets, wetted with distilled water, and enclosed in the weatherport with a humidifier for continued rehydration. Mapping and preliminary analysis will begin Feb. 18th.

Garrett Kubik, Ben Edwards, and Steve Kilgore inspect the Folsom wedge after removal of the plaster.

ENMU students inspect the Folsom wedge after removal of the plaster.

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This entry was posted in Archaeology, Field Work, Folsom, Geoarchaeology, Paleoindian and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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