In the Preparation Lab, the first phase of the bone restoration occurs. Trained and highly skilled preparators, wearing eye and ear protection and working in vented work stations, carefully remove casts or other protective materials applied in the field and separate the bones from adhering rock or dirt using special tools designed for that purpose. You can learn more about the special tools used in cleaning bones by choosing “Tools” from the list on the left side of the screen.

After and during cleaning, the bone is stabilized using consolidants and glues. Sometimes missing parts are replaced with epoxy sculpting putty. In this case, the gray color of the putty may be muted by impregnating it with pulverized bone dust. To learn more about the cleaning procedure, click on “Cleaning Procedure – Elementary” for simple interactive version or “Cleaning Procedure – Advanced” for an in-depth look at the procedures and precautions involved in preparing specimens for Museum study.

This work takes place in the vented hoods seen in the back of the lab, where twelve identical stations permit several technicians to work simultaneously. You may tour the lab using the virtual reality image by clicking on “Explore Lab” in the list on the left side of the screen.

You may watch the cleaning procedure via a user-controlled video camera during times when the lab is in operation by selecting the “Watch” in the list at the left side of the screen. Times when you will be most likely to find workers in the lab are listed there.

When the restoration and cleaning are completed, the bone is labeled with a permanent number and the accompanying data are entered into the online database. Then the bone is transferred to the Museum Repository. To find out what happens next, visit the Repository by choosing “Study” in the bar at the top of this page.

For more help select “Help” on the lateral menu to the left.