Y archaeology students excavate human bones in SL

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    By RYAN HASLAM

    The BYU Office of Public Archaeology has had great training experience for the last two months in Salt Lake City.

    June 1, while digging for the new Utah Transit Authority TRAX project, ancient human remains were found. Salt Lake City called the BYU archeology department and the students have been digging ever since.

    “This is a great experience for them. This is a chance for them to come strait out of class and get actual work experience to use the training they received in the classroom,” said Richard Talbot for the archeology office at BYU.

    The students are working long hours, but enjoying the real-life experience.

    “You get to see, you get to touch, you get to be a part of a deeper learning experience that you can’t get in a classroom. It’s vital for students,” said Mindy Griffiths, 30, from Kearns and completing her master’s in archeology.

    Griffiths was involved in one of they key finds at the dig.

    “I found part of a small flute made of bone. It was very exciting,” Griffiths said. “You wonder what it is that they made it for, perhaps something a father made for a son that was a toy of some sort.”

    Aubrey Baadsgaard, a recent BYU graduate in archeology, helped discover one of the most complete finds.

    “I found the tip of a biface (arrowhead) that was lying right on top of what looks to be a broken pot that we’re trying to expose. We also found a grinding stone and we found the rock that was probably used to do the grinding right next to it,” Baadsgaard said.

    Talbot said the excavation has gone smoothly. The only problems they’ve had have been with the man-made developments in the soil. Baadsgaard still considers herself a lucky archeologist.

    “We’ve got a waterline and a pipe coming through that broke the grinding stone and a storm drain that broke half of the pot when (the pipe) was put in,” Baadsgaard said. “We’re really lucky to have any of this with all these modern disturbances.”

    With virtually no problems to slow its progress and a relatively small work area, the excavation is almost finished.

    “We will probably be here another week or week and a half. That will be the end of it. Our work area is confined to the street itself, so we have a small work area,” Talbot said.

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