Natural Trap Cave 2017

Jenny being interviewed by PBS Wyoming

July 8-19, Jenny & Aaron experienced their last year of fieldwork at Natural Trap Cave for the foreseeable future. Jenny spent 7 consecutive days in the cave, and was extremely productive. She analyzed and mapped the stratigraphy of the south wall of the excavation section, and sampled each strata for microfauna. She also sampled the north wall of the excavation section at 5cm intervals for microfauna. We will be able to use these samples to get excellent radiocarbon date resolution for the cave. While excavating for microfauna, Jenny found a cheetah toe, a lion claw, a camel axis, and many horse teeth and limb bones. Aaron found bighorn sheep bones, a lion paw bone, and a lot of horse material. It seems like American horses were pretty clumsy around the cave entrance back in the day. Others at the site found a weasel (that may be a giant Pleistocene form of the American marten), coyote (or wolf), and an entire bison jaw! Good times were had by all, and the incredible people involved in the project will be sorely missed next summer. Keep an eye out for media about Natural Trap Cave.

It's a long ways down!
Descending into the cave.

i.e. making flat dirt
Measuring a stratigraphic section to get as accurate of dates as possible.

cave arts & crafts
Pink strings separate distinct strata & therefore distinct events in time.

Juan had to haul each of these out of the cave
Bags of sediments ready to be sieved & processed for microfauna

toasting thousands of fossils
Screenwashing station is set up and drying out.


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