Grandpa Joins Dinosaur Dig

Conway Member Uncovers Bones and Makes Friends
October 23, 2019

CONWAY, ARK. – I became interested in Southwestern Adventist University’s Dino Dig after viewing a brochure and decided to go this past summer. After driving 1,200 miles, the last leg of the journey was driving 12 miles on a gravel road, being careful that I did not hit a cow or calf in the road. At the camp, there was one large building housing men and women’s restrooms with showers; a kitchen and eating room; and a storage area. There was also a large canvas tent where worship was held.

During the week, breakfast was served at 7 a.m. followed by worship. The newbies were shown what to do on a video and we were assigned to a group. I was assigned to dig in the Nuefeld (New Field) quarry. McKenzie, a student from Southern Adventist University (SAU), was the quarry leader. The rest of our group consisted of SAU students Clare, Daniel and Eden (Daniel and Eden are South Koreans); Otto, from Argentina, a science professor; Maria from Peru, who runs a museum there; Marcela from Mexico, a high school teacher; and Miko from Canada, who was working on a documentary about creation and evolution. My new friends took care of me and called me “Grandfather.”

At the quarry I learned to use a paint scraper and to take off one layer of dirt at a time. If I heard a clink, I used a small pick and a brush to find out what I had found. Many times it was a rock; other times it was a bone fragment or part of a larger bone. I found many bone fragments, several vertebra, a partial jaw bone, three large femurs over three feet long and a pubis that was over two feet long. Each large bone’s location was recorded using GPS, recorded in a book and then either wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in burlap and plaster cast to be sent back to the university’s Dinosaur Science Museum.

There were people at the dig from Italy, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Japan, Guam, Czech Republic, Canada and the United States. Families came with babies and young children. There were children, elementary students, high school students, elementary teachers, high school teachers, university professors, pastors, grandparents and miscellaneous adults. I really enjoyed my summer experience.

By Rusty Litten