Chrisite Grekul has a confession.
I have trowel issues,” she says, carefully scraping away a few centimetres of Alberta Prairie dirt from around an ancient hunk of bison vertebrae. “Can we trade?”
Not wanting to get between an archeologist and her favourite trowel, I hand the tool over and stand up at the edge of a onemetre- square excavation pit neatly demarcated with string, my knees and back moaning a thank you.
Grekul loosens some more earth, gently sweeps it aside and into a bucket, then whisks a small paintbrush over the piece of bone, eyes peeled for some clue from millennia ago — a nick from a projectile point, perhaps, or a ragged cut mark made by a stone blade.