Monday, June 10, 2013
Getting the job done
I have decided to start this blog so as to open up discussion on the many topics that are constantly being published about our evolution. I'm hoping that we can discuss these and our own fieldwork and the results of that work. There is a lot to cover so please keep visiting! I also want to give a flavour of the day-to-day work that is involved behind all this work that ends up in a few thousand words of a paper - the stuff that doesn't get into the "Methods" section. I thought I'd start with this and tell you what we've been up to today.
We've just started our summer excavation season here in Gibraltar. In June we will be excavating Vanguard Cave. This cave was occupied by the Neanderthals. We're not sure for how long just yet - that's part of the reason why we're excavating here. Vanguard Cave lies just at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, at the base of a 426-metre (1492 ft) cliff. Logistics are a problem and sometimes it is easier to transport heavy kit by boat than bringing it down the cliffs. Today we had to set up a sieving station and we had to get two 100-kg containers onto the site. These were brought by boat but the rocky shore prevented the boat from getting in too close.
So what we did was to get Gerry and Darren from our underwater archaeology team to get into the water and safely guide the tied containers ashore where others from the team were waiting to haul them ashore and onto the chosen location where they will live for the next two months. The following pictures speak for themselves.
Above: both in place and ready for action...but the pumps and hoses needed to be brought down the cliff...
So that's all in a day's work! The pic above gives an impression of the scale of the cave. Keep visiting and I'll mix living experiences such as this one with more general topics. And who knows what we'll be finding in the caves during this summer season!
Posted by Clive Finlayson at 10:59 AM