The discovery of T-Rex in America
Archaeologist Phil Harding on An the excavation of T-Rex bones.
It was almost an accidental discovery. A man was walking through the landscape and he noticed a bone sticking out from the rock face and they identified that bone as being of a dinosaur. And so he gambled and he said maybe where there's one bone, there's the rest of it. And they realised that it was such an important find. This bone was 10 metres down the cliff face from present ground surface, and they literally quarried away the entire rock face, the entire cliff face. And they made a platform to find the rest of the bones of this dinosaur. And it did confirm it, there were loads and loads of T Rex bones there. And they were, you couldn’t see them as a skeleton, they were just a jumble of bones. And it was just that problem of actually trying to unpick the bones, trying to work out which one was on top and which one was underneath, just like an archaeologist does, except in that what you were doing was actually taking these bones out of the solid rock.
The bones were actually harder than the rock. While we were there we wanted to watch the whole process. And so we witnessed the excavation and I helped to do that bit of it myself and we watched them wrap up all these lumps of rock in plaster of paris, lift them out. And some of these blocks were so big, they were literally flying them. They’d get a helicopter to take these bones away because the area that they were digging in was so remote and they was taking them back to the museum and they had the volunteers there that would chip away at all the bones. But while we were in the museum, they told us that we had the complete skeleton of a baby T-Rex. We were making a television programme and we desperately wanted to film this baby skeleton of a T-Rex but they said it was so important and so secret that they wouldn’t let us film it.