Osteoderm is a fun word.
This last weekend I went on my first ever archeological dig. I stabbed myself with a screwdriver less than 5 minutes after they had me start….
Anyway. We were digging in a clay pit (hardly a pit… we had to drive UP to it) with little screwdrivers. The first day I found nothing. On Sunday I found two quarter-sized pieces of osteoderm. It’s a term I had never heard before – but isn’t it fun to say? I basically found the hard shell-skin of a giant armadillo. About 20 feet up the pit from me they were ever so very carefully digging out what seems to be most of a skeleton of a giant armadillo. They are really looking for a type of ancient tapir, but only found the tooth of one while I was there. I was jealous, but I also didn’t want to work on it as I was afraid I would ruin it. I did mention that I stabbed myself within 5 minutes of starting there right? Yah. So was probably a good thing I was working the lower area that didn’t seem to have as much delicate stuff.
The people working around me did find parts of a rather large variety of wildlife. Alligater spine, turtle toes, turtle shells, capybara lower jaw piece, osteoderm of armadillos, something from a ground sloth.
It was pretty hot work and exhausting. I really loved it. I can’t wait to find some time to go back there. They are digging until Dec 20…