All posts tagged: zooarchaeology laboratory

I dreamed of flesh eating beetles.

I dreamed of flesh eating beetles and mortifying tissue and woke with the sense memory of the smell of decay. I blame the Turdus migratorius from yesterday. It wasn’t his fault, poor little robin, that one of the students found him dead on the road and collected him for the lab. It certainly wasn’t his fault that a skilled graduate student showed me how to skin and eviscerate a little songbird using his carcass. We recorded data for science and the permits, and plucked and skinned and removed blobs from inside him using forceps. We wrapped him in cheesecloth (did the cheesecloth company ever imagine such a use?) and put him in the lab fridge to dry out for a couple of days. It made me think of dry aging a nice roast. Might have to hit the butcher later. The dermestid tank, the flesh eating beetle habitat, was right next to us while we worked on the bird. Did they watch us prepare their supper? The larvae will creep through the cheesecloth and snack …

The tiresome collision of skeletons and snow.

Outside the lab window, above the human skeletons dangling from their cranial hooks, I could see the wind howling snow across the small Fimbulwintered quad. It looked horrible. I put my chin in my hand and gazed into the whirling wretched iciness and thought about a beach. A long, wide beach with nice medium sized waves and only a few other people around. The sun glared off the water and I could almost feel the heat. I sighed and imagined settling my shoulders deeper into the hot sand. It was great. I smiled. I heard a faint, wah, wah, wah sound off to my right so I turned my head, idly wondering what it was. Oh. It was one of the grad students in the lab. He was describing his research project to me. To get my input. Which I really wanted to give because I like that part of my job. I tuned back in, sighing to myself. I’m tired of winter. Temperature at posting: 16 degrees F, light snow, wind ~15mph.