ZD1001 bonebed

8 September 2010. IVPP, Beijing, China

Fossil specimens from Tibet have all been unpacked and stored in specimen boxes. Now comes the more "scientific" part of curation: make sense out of the fossils.

We have extracted fossils from the ZD1001 bonebed with the purpose of studying its taphonomy (the study of the circumstances surrounding the preservation of different types of fossil deposits). One aspect of examining its preservation involved collecting all bone fragments and elements that were uncovered during the process of excavation, and the documentation of the orientation of the bones as they are found in the ground.

[a scan of Jack's field notes, showing a numbered list of specimens taken out of ZD1001 {left page} and their orientation and position in the ground {right page}]

Digitizing and building a quarry map showing the arrangement of bones from ZD1001 is one step towards understanding the environment in which the fossil vertebrates died and became preserved.

To many Angelinos this is all too familiar; the Rancho la Brea deposits of Hancock Park are full of concentrated pockets of fossils (although la Brea fossils are younger in geologic age than those from ZD1001 by a few million years).

1 comment:

Spencer said...

Hahaha, yes, all too familiar. :-D