Beiner & Rabinovich, 2014: BONES AND SEDIMENTS
keep the fragments together. When a very
hornets' nests with his father. One of us
large tusk was exposed, with at least 4 break
(RR) surveyed the find location and salvaged
areas and some very weak parts, concerns
further parts of the mandible (Figure 5). In
about the weight led to the preparation of a
this case, no conservator was present on
light partial jacket for the more fragmented
site, but the bone was brought directly to
part out of plaster bandages. As expected, the
the
conservation lab, still
covered
with
difficult part involved moving the tusk. We only
the
sandy
eolian
deposit
matrix.
had ten days of work on this excavation so we
The teeth sitting in the jaw were coated with a
could not slow down work to coat the underside
hard sandstone sediment layer, and the bone
and consolidate the tusk completely before
material was cracked due to post-depositional
moving it. It was moved in three sections, and
processes, but the pieces mostly stayed in their
the underside was damaged in the move.
correct positions in relation to each other.
A fourth, but failed, method involved using
Despite
the
damage
caused
by
water
polyurethane. Barrier layers were created out
percolation in post-depositional activity, this
of aluminum foil and clingfilm, and coated a
find was relatively stable because its current
large tibia bone with polyurethane, but had not
environment was also relatively stable: arid
succeeded in moving the block out cleanly
desert. The result was that both the bone and
because the polyurethane cover did not hold
tooth material were easy to clean mechanically
the block tightly enough and earth on the
in the lab, using a bristle brush and tools such
underside fragmented when we tried to move
as porcupine quills and wooden cocktail sticks
the block and turn it over. Finds from this
using a bristle brush and tools such as
excavation are currently being treated in the
porcupine quills and wooden cocktail sticks. The
Paleontology Lab in Jerusalem.
sediment on the teeth was a bit harder, and
required a micro-jack tool using air pressure.
Several gaps existed in the bone, and these
CASE IV: ONE DAY EXPOSURE - EIN
were filled with layers made of strips of fine
YAHAV (MIOCENE)
lens tissue dipped in 30% Paraloid B72 (methyl
acrylate/ethyl methacrylate co-polymer) in
Two teeth from a proboscidean jaw from the
acetone. Since bits of the mandible were still
site of Ein Yahav, ca. 17-18 myr, were found
missing, the three existing fragments were kept
by an 8-year old walking about looking for
apart.
Figure 5: The site of Ein Yahav: find from the one-day expedition, in situ.
24
Journal of Paleontological Techniques