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Having a whale of a time

Final star find of the day and it's a real beauty, painstakingly excavated by Alice with assistance from Alan and triumphantly lifted all in one piece without any damage at all, the massive socket from the hearth in Structure 6 made out of a carefully trimmed and shaped whale vertebra:

It's one of a pair either side the hearth, sadly the other one is a sorry state and is basically just vertebra shaped crumbs so will be sampled but can't be lifted whole, you can see the outline of it on the left of the hearth in this pic:

There was also a nice shaped stone setting holding it in place, part of which you can see under Alice's right hand:

Alan was poised to plan the setting and the cut for the whalebone as soon as it was lifted, whilst we were busily backfilling the rest of the site around them, hence the black membrane draped over the orthostat:

They were an island in a sea of sandbags and rocks by the time it came out, theirs is the last area to be backfilled and we'll start on that in the morning.

After another day of hard slog it was time for a quick pose for a photo and the sandbags are a lot more comfy than the rocks to recline on:

Only thing we have to do now is find a box big enough to protect the whalebone for transport, usually our really big finds are stone so it's not so much of a problem!


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