I'm so lucky in my job as a Crime Scene Investigator that I get to 'try out' other peoples occupations, not just watch them! This week I'm not just a CSI, I'm an archaeological CSI excavating a human body from a ditch!
'What did you do today?' My husband asks. The reply is not what he was expecting, it was far more interesting than my usual lab work. I had him intrigued!
It’s a beautiful sunny day, I’m sitting in a chair in the middle of a meadow, and there is a nice breeze. There is a good crowd from work and we are having a laugh but we are not in a pub garden, no we are in a crime scene. In the distance I can see some horses grazing, I’ve definitely been in worse places, this is really lovely!
The beautiful setting is ruined as we are all dressed in a scene suits, wellies and our chairs are on a stretched out bit of tarpaulin. In between our legs we all have a bucket with a sieve and we are covered in mud! We are waiting patiently for our next delivery of pails full of earth! Not your average buckets of mud though, we are Crime Scene Investigators after all. What else is in them??
We are in to our third day on the 'dig', the pace has started to slow down a bit, therefore it's time to fight back against fatigue! A new game has been devised and I’ve called it ‘Bone or Stone’! In the search to recover the whole of a skeleton recently discovered, a large soggy hole is being dug by the archaeologists. Buckets are being filled with their dirt and we are their ‘mud bitches’ who are doing a fingertip search of this sludge! Sitting in our rows we are sieving the muck attempting to locate evidence, it's back breaking work!
It’s not just wet mud/clay in the hole though, it’s full of twigs, stones, creatures and other unidentifiable items some of which look grim! Hence why it’s called ‘bone or stone’ because that's what you yelled when you found one obviously! We are being trusted to locate bones which are small and have been buried more easily. Bones such as the knuckles, fingers and toes, plus a lot of vertebrae. After washing the mud off what we believe might be a treasured item we displayed them to one side for the scientists and waited for their verdict. Had we found a bone? Or just a stone? We weren't sure!
I wouldn’t say I was the best at this game, or maybe I just got given a less bone-dense bucket than my colleagues? Excuses excuses!! The others seem to be finding a lot more and were frequently squealing ‘bone’! My main issue was that knuckles and ankle bones look incredibly similar in shape and colour to beige coloured stones. And there are lots of them - bones in your hands and stones in my bucket!
I proudly put my offerings with the display and held my breath, the scientists were on their way back. This pleased us because we were all waiting for the buckets to stop and hoping we hadn’t missed anything.
It was time for the ‘judgy’ anthropologist to cast her beady eye over our findings. She cried “Vertebrae, knuckle, finger, stone, stone, vertebrae, stone, stone” as she was chucking the stones over her shoulder in disgust. Whoops! I believe they were mostly my contribution, I don't believe I have a bright future in anthropology if I decide to leave being a CSI lol.
It was fascinating though watching the anthropologist reconstruct the skeleton. What had started as a pile of rubble started to take form. Very slowly though, I think she was being paid by the hour and she was in no rush! Don’t worry we are losing the light, need torches and we have already been here 7 hours!
You take your time love!
I think we all breathed a huge sigh of relief when it was declared we had found all we could! No more buckets, no more mud and the game was finally over! I look forward to the next instalment of 'Bone or Stone' when help is needed to recover another body!