Cleaning and cataloguing

Once the bones have been lifted from the excavated soil, we clean them.  Only dental tools and brushes are used; no water because the drying out damages the delicate bones.  Sometimes we need to use archaeological conservation techniques to support bones before they are lifted from the soil.  When the bones are clean, we lay them out in their anatomical position on specially made charts.  We photograph these as a records, as well as keeping an inventory on the site database.