Summer 2004 Field Season

A busy day at the Main Block.

(Season 2 - Excavating British Columbia's first dinosaurs)

The second season of excavating B.C.'s first dinosaurs started in mid-July, 2004. The palaeontologists had discovered what techniques worked best in the first season and were even more prepared for the second season. The amount of equipment was streamlined. For instance there was no need for the large generator that was used last summer to power the two upright air-compressors. This year's air-compressors were small portable gasoline-powered units and only a small generator was needed to run lights and small power tools. Some of the excavation equipment had changed somewhat since the previous year too. For instance, large air-hammers and medium air scribes had been used in 2003. These were still to be employed in the 2004 excavation, but the P.R.P.R.C. had acquired a pair of large air scribes (PaleoTool's "Mighty-Jack") which were intended for use while pedastaling bones, a process that had taken a long time last year when using the medium airscribes.

Only three relatively light loads needed to be brought in by helicopter (Helicopter time donated again by Chetwynd Forest Industries).


A load of equipment is brought to the excavation site in the canyon by helicopter.


Palaeontologist Rich McCrea hooks up webbing to the long line under the helicopter after all of the equipment had been delivered.


The excavation site set up for the 2004 field season.


For a week in mid-August the Hudson's Hope Museum sent down a couple of their summer student staff to gain experience on the dinosaur excavation.

Volunteer help at the dig from the Hudson's Hope Museum.


M.P. Jay Hill paid a visit to the P.R.P.R.C. in August and was also given a tour of the excavation site.

M.P. Jay Hill tries his hand at excavating dinosaurs during a special visit to the P.R.P.R.C. and dig site.


The excavation was conducted both during the day, and sometimes well into the evening as well.

Palaeontologist Lisa Buckley working on the Main Block.


Palaeontologist Rich McCrea working on the Main Block by the light of halogen lamps.


As the excavation proceeded towards the main bone layer the number of larger, more intact bones increased including a partial turtle carapace.

A partial turtle shell found near the main bone layer in the block.


Dinosaur ribs and vertebrae continued to be found along with other less identifiable fragments.

A long dinosaur rib from the Main Block (10cm scale)


A separator (toilet paper) is applied to the rib before it is given a plaster jacket.


The weather did not always cooperate, and at times there was a great deal of rain which shut down the excavation from time to time. Each time the weather cleared the excavation could proceed.

Near flooding of the excavation site after the summer's extensive rains.

(Note that the bridge and tent have been swept away by the flood)


Even though the excavation started later than it did in 2003 it continued until well into October and many more bones were recovered (see Excavation Results)

Working on the Main Block in late September, 2004