I've always found this transformation amusing. When you first uncover your specimen you do so delicately and worry about every little chip and fragment. You carefully outline the specimen, determining the edges of your blocks (and hope that they stay small), plastering edges as you trench to protect the delicate bones from knees, flying rocks, etc.. Finally you apply your thick plaster cap and start widening and deepening your trench. It is at this stage of the excavation that this transformation occurs. The transformation from a plastered block of fossils to a piece of furniture.
Here is a picture of a large (six feet by three feet) block from a current excavation. We have now focused our attention on the trench around the specimen and isolated elements we are finding in the trench. Notice how nonchalant we have become regarding the previous center of our attention. It has now become a seat, a foot rest, a table for the iPod and speakers, and a place to put drinks, tools, etc...
The Patagonian Land Penguin
12 hours ago in Catalogue of Organisms