RSS

Tag Archives: 10%

11/19/2014 The Columbia Mammoth Tusk (Day 23)

Did someone say, MAMMOTH!?  Oh wait, that’s just me…ok, so maybe YOU too.  🙂

Even though I tend to work for HOURS on end in the lab, being all science-ee, I know that my successes are only in leaps & bounds from my perspective.  Sure, I know you’d hope as an archaeologist, I’d dig up a mammoth, find a lost city and discover the fountain of youth all in one week.  Sounds awesome to me too.  But in my REALISTIC life, things move a little slower…okay, so A LOT slower.  But you’re here to see updates & that’s what I’ve got for you!

Yes, it still looks painful, I know.  Imagine how I feel?!

2014-11-19 20.35.21 2014-11-19 20.35.44

What I’ve worked on here looks a lot like the previous update, I know.  But if you’re super meticulous (like me), then you’ll see that we’ve cleaned the tusk a little bit more.  Cleaning it always is a bit of a crap shoot.  I’m stuck in the wonder of…Will it fall apart if I clean this more, or Will this look super awesome?!  It’s never an easy guessing game.  And truth be told, after today’s cleaning, it did a little of both.  But I’ll let you be the judge.  I’ll soon be using the Paraloid on this so as to freeze all the loose pieces into place.

2014-11-19 20.36.35

See how the tusk looks like rings of a tree?  In the same fashion, that’s how you can tell how old a mammoth is.  This tusk isn’t nearly so easy to read from this vantage point or the degradation.  But I can tell you that this was a juvenile, since the tusk’s circumference is smaller than all the mature mammoths I’ve studied.

Oh, btw, my favorite part about the photo below is that when I walked into the lab, SOME IDIOT WAS TOUCHING THE SANDBAGS!!!!  Of course I jumped all over him.  (Scared him a little too…that was funny!)  😉  I plan on putting this tusk in a flat housing that will contain all the mammoth dirt and tusk flakes that fall away.  The plastic drop cloth was good for when we were plastering, but it’s gotta go!  I will say that just to scootch the tusk around the table is a major event in its self since it is SOOOO heavy now.  I gauge about 80 pounds.  Once I was able to carry it across both arms.  Now?…Errrm….Not so much!

2014-11-19 20.45.29

I’m taking off for Thanksgiving, so I won’t be working on this until next week.  Forgive me?…

Again, I don’t want to expose much of this to the air without treating it more.  I use acrysol at 10% just like last week.

Tools used: 10% acrysol, sandbags, the cleaning solution of 50% alcohol & 50% distilled water, synthetic brushes, metal tools, wooden tools, 5cm arrow for size reference, and aspirator.

Time spent in the lab was about 4 hours.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4/8/14 The Columbia Mammoth Tusk (Day 12)

2014-04-08 15.56.09 2014-04-08 15.54.46

Late posting, I know!  I need to play catch-up so that you can follow along in my adventure!

Working on the cleaning of the mammoth tusk, but also I’m working on creating an archival glue that will be strong and yet not degrade the tusk in the meantime.  Never thought I’d be creating liquid plastic!  But I digress.

Cleaned the mammoth tusk on the proximal end (that’s the far right end of the tusk in the photo).  There’s a lot of cracking going on, which is why I hadn’t cut that back. the plaster on that end very much.  But SOON!

Used 5cm arrow for size reference. Continued using the cleaning solution of 50% alcohol & 50% distilled water. Tools used to clean the ivory tusk are synthetic brushes, metal tools, wooden tools, aspirator and acrysol of varying percentages.

Spent 6 hours in the lab since a bunch of that was exploring this liquid plastic that will be in my next post!

*Teaser note: I did NOT blow anything up…(knock on wood)*

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11/8/2012 Mammoth Rib

Eigth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

Eighth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

DAY 8:

11 hours were spent in the lab today.

Oh so close.  We’re almost there.  I can see the end is near…..IN A GOOD WAY!!

Tools used today: Various clay-shaping tools, natural & synthetic brushes, bulb aspirator, scissors, beakers, pipettes, toothpicks, .25USD for scale, sponge, journal, pen, pencil & a lucky quarter (they exist, right!?) that I found outside the lab room.

Mammoth rib was found in Castroville, California.  Mammoth DNA provided an age estimation between 22,000 & 25,000 years old.  This rib was pedestaled & then lifted.  The environment that the rib was found in was a natural hard composite of sand, clay, dirt & shell.  The rib was wrapped in layers of plastic, styrofoam, paper, tin foil & synthetic padding, with the exterior being a plaster cast to ensure its physical integrity while being lifted & transferred out.

Chemicals used to clean: Acrysol & an alcohol/water solution.

2012-11-08 21.32.34

Spent a lot of time treating the entire surface with 10% acrysol & having that dry while I started slowly picking away the concrete-like clay that is holding the prize of the mammoth rib.
2012-11-08 21.33.32

I’ve treated the heck out of this, so don’t freak out that I’m touching it…with my bare hand!  (gasp)  I wanted to document that I was purposely taking this piece off, which is why something looks like it’s missing in the photo below.  This removed bone piece is what I’ll call, “Cordical 1”.

2012-11-08 21.33.57

2012-11-08 21.34.07

“Cordical 1” looks different when turned over!  It’s the bone on the left.  I wanted to expose the trabecular side so I could treat it & take a closer look at it.  The bone on the right is actually 2 pieces of the distal bone that I’ve acrysol-ed together.  (I guess you could say it’s being held together with love & prayer….in a sciency way.)

2012-11-08 21.34.29

Treating the heck out of the trabecular bone on the distal side.  That part of the bone was coming apart like dust.  Even though I treated it with 10% acrysol before, I realized that I’m going to have to turn that percentage up as much as I can.  I re-treat it with 26% acrysol, which is why it looks darker & wet in comparison.

2012-11-08 21.34.49

2012-11-08 21.35.37

2012-11-08 21.36.08

2012-11-08 21.37.02

2012-11-08 21.37.45

2012-11-08 21.38.23

I feel like I’m sooooooooooooooooooo close to being done.  But alas, I know I’m not.  Time to clean up & retreat the entire proximal end.  Been in lab for probably too long.  I got caught up in the days findings.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

11/1/2012 Mammoth Rib

11/1/2012 Mammoth Rib
Sixth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

Sixth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

DAY 6:

9 hours were spent in the lab today.

Though it doesn’t look like it, I’ve gotten a lot done today.  The clay is the consistency of stone & because of that, it’s a slow process.

Tools used today: Various clay-shaping tools, natural & synthetic brushes, scissors, .25USD for scale, pipettes, beakers, bulb aspirator, sponge, journal, pen, pencil & prayer.

Mammoth rib was found in Castroville, California.  Mammoth DNA provided an age estimation between 22,000 & 25,000 years old.  This rib was pedestaled & then lifted.  The environment that the rib was found in was a natural hard composite of sand, clay, dirt & shell.  The rib was wrapped in layers of plastic, styrofoam, paper, tin foil & synthetic padding, with the exterior being a plaster cast to ensure its physical integrity while being lifted & transferred out.

Chemicals used to clean: Acrysol & an alcohol/water solution.

 

2012-11-01 20.06.56

Yes, this is a medial fracture…ANOTHER one….and another one….

2012-11-01 20.07.18

The cortical bone is pink in hue [above] & the trabecular [bottom] has a fragile & lacy texture that falls apart the moment I start to clean it.  Keep in mind that the 2 bones are actually suppose to be connected to be ONE bone.  We’re seeing both the outside of the bone & the inside at the same time.

2012-11-01 20.07.38

2012-11-01 20.07.51

2012-11-01 20.08.22

Detail cleaning the proximal end for a bit.

2012-11-01 20.09.00

I’m hoping to keep the medial fracture along the length of the bone as JUST A SMALL fracture by treating it with 20% acrysol along the fracture specifically.  I’ll be treating this a lot today & in future sessions.

2012-11-01 20.09.08

2012-11-01 20.09.26

2012-11-01 20.10.40

Looking along the rib bone to the distal end, I see how far I have gone & where I still have to go today.

2012-11-01 20.10.49

Are we there yet?…

2012-11-01 20.11.14
2012-11-01 20.11.39

Treating all visible surfaces, newly revealed & previously treated will all be treated/retreated with acrysol of varying percentages.

2012-11-01 20.12.20\ 2012-11-01 20.12.45

2012-11-01 20.13.22

Ariel view of what I’m working with.  The mammoth bone is so fragile, with all of its many fractures.  I am having to gently sweep away clay & dirt, followed quickly with a 10% treatment of acrysol.  I do this in micro-sections so much that I often have to step away to see more than the micro-view that I can lock into for hours on end.  Dealing with bone dust is something that I have learned to be accept as being toss-able, which simply means it goes in a marked collection bag that I’m saving,  instead of me trying to attempt to hold together impossible sample sizes.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/18/2012 Mammoth Rib

Fifth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

Fifth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

DAY 5:

6 hours were spent in the lab today.

I’ll continue to do fine-tune cleaning & treating with acrysol.  But, I understand that I have to soon move on….Next time……  Until then, the cortical has been treated with 5% acrysol & the trabecular is treated with 10% acrysol.

Tools used today: Various clay-shaping tools, natural & synthetic brushes, pipettes, beakers, scissors, .25USD for scale, bulb aspirator, sponge, journal, pen, pencil & a lucky penny I found in the parking lot earlier.

Mammoth rib was found in Castroville, California.  Mammoth DNA provided an age estimation between 22,000 & 25,000 years old.  This rib was pedestaled & then lifted.  The environment that the rib was found in was a natural hard composite of sand, clay, dirt & shell.  The rib was wrapped in layers of plastic, styrofoam, paper, tin foil & synthetic padding, with the exterior being a plaster cast to ensure its physical integrity while being lifted & transferred out.

Chemicals used to clean: Acrysol & an alcohol/water solution.

 

2012-10-18 17.10.11

After fine detail cleaning, I’m re-evaluating the better defined marks on the photo above.  Are these tooth marks?…Tool marks?…

2012-10-18 17.10.45

Remember that medial fracture on the proximal end?…….Yup, the above photo is a cleaned up version of it.  I’m bummed it went all the way through to the other side, but not surprised.

2012-10-18 17.11.15

2012-10-18 17.11.28

I’m not sure what the marks are on the bone above.  Again….tooth marks?…tool marks?… Still researching that inquiry.

2012-10-18 17.11.56

And this view reminds me of how much further I still have to go.  I feel good about the proximal end that is cleaned up & treated.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10/16/2012 Mammoth Rib

Fourth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

Fourth day unveiling excavated mammoth rib from Castroville, CA

DAY 4:

7 hours were spent in the lab today.

I’m patiently working on this.  And SUPER DIRTY from the clay that I’ve been lightly chiseling away.  I need to buy a lab coat!

Tools used today: Various clay-shaping tools, natural & synthetic brushes, bulb aspirator, sponge, .25USD for scale, beakers, pipettes, toothpicks, scissors, journal, pen, pencil, lucky rabbits foot .

Mammoth rib was found in Castroville, California.  Mammoth DNA provided an age estimation between 22,000 & 25,000 years old.  This rib was pedestaled & then lifted.  The environment that the rib was found in was a natural hard composite of sand, clay, dirt & shell.  The rib was wrapped in layers of plastic, styrofoam, paper, tin foil & synthetic padding, with the exterior being a plaster cast to ensure its physical integrity while being lifted & transferred out.

Chemicals used to clean: Acrysol & an alcohol/water solution.

 

2012-10-16 21.18.42

View of .25USD on the proximal end after detail cleaning.  Looks dark because of being cleaned with water/alcohol & being treated with 5% acrysol.

2012-10-16 21.19.00

2012-10-16 21.19.11

2012-10-16 21.19.35

There look to be tool or wear marks on the closest part of the bone facing us above.  I’ll have to do some more cleaning & possible tool & tooth pattern analysis.

2012-10-16 21.19.48

2012-10-16 21.20.04

Yup, there’s a lot of cleaning that’s still ahead!!  What we see here is the unique view of the cortical (hard exterior) bone [top] & the trabecular (cancellous, spongy interior) bone [bottom].

2012-10-16 21.20.29

2012-10-16 21.20.41

In this view, the proximal end is on our viewing right & the distal is off camera.

2012-10-16 21.20.55

Looking at the rib from this still encased distal end toward the exposed proximal end.  This has been an ambitious day.  Treated all exposed cortical to 5% acrysol.  Treated all exposed trabecular to 10% acrysol.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,