It only takes a few minutes of surveying the area to spot the telltale bone underneath the dirty white plaster. Its burnt orange colour is easy to make out especially on a day like today when the sun is beating down on our backs as we work and there’s a bit of a gleam when rays hit the bone. I pick up the dental pick and small brush to clean the area around the discovery, but my hand is quickly brushed away. Rightly so. In this scenario I am only the apprentice. My 9-year old son Cameron is the lead paleontologist on this simulated palaeontological dig.
“Mom! Not yet! First I need the awl,” he tells me and I dutifully scramble to find our spiked chisel-like tool. The smile he flashes me as I pass it to him with a “Here you go sir!” is well worth the sore bum and aching knees that are sure to follow this hour of crouching and squatting in the dirt.