When paleontologist Geraldine Birdwell visited College Hill this Monday, two surprises awaited her. The “Boneyard” at Lafayette was not an actual boneyard–and then it was.
After receiving a tip that the Easton neighborhood contained a “boneyard,” Birdwell and her team of archaeologists left their headquarters in Wyoming to commence a new project in Pennsylvania.
“Geraldine recently got her membership from the Paleontological Society revoked due to a scandal involving some niposaurus fossils,” said Fred Reason, one of her assistants. While Reason declined to comment further, reports published in Paleontological Today suggest that she was caught walking around asking strangers “Do these fossils feel real to you?”
So when Birdwell got a tip that this Easton boneyard was a hot-ticket location, she knew she had to jump on the opportunity.
Birdwell said it was “just the tip” she needed to redeem her name.
Little did Birdwell and her team know that the Boneyard was simply the name of an all-male off-campus living space. It is unclear why it is called the Boneyard at this time.
However, Birdwell’s team decided to try and see if they could uncover anything.
“We had already paid for a month at the Grand Eastonian, so we figured we should at least try some sort of excavation project,” Reason said.
The residents at Boneyard had no objections to their backyard turning into an archaeological dig site.
“That archaeologist lady is kind of a MILF. If she really wants to see an impressive bone, though, she should look in my pants,” said Yates Whitaker ‘17, a resident of the house.
The college was also delighted to have a renowned bone-digger on campus. According to the Assistant Dean of Residence Life Sarah Thomson, the excavation site highlights the living and learning residential life experience that also connects communities and leads change.
Birdwell gave a lecture to students in the Gendebien room in which she discussed the interdisciplinary nature and Cur Non spirit of excavating.
“Archeological digging is hard,” Birdwell tried to explain to a group of giggling college students. “You really need to get it in there and dig deep. But when looking at bones, it really just comes down to using your head.”
One day into the dig, graduate intern Pauline Rudolph hit archaeological gold. “I was digging around, really going at it and then I felt my tools hit bone.”
After a few hours of digging, the team started to uncover bones of a hardosaurus, the second dinosaur to ever be found in Pennsylvania.
To continue the excavation, the students living at the house have been temporarily relocated to top tier housing, where there has been no hot water for two years.
Meanwhile, the “Boneyard” has been shut down to make way for an actual boneyard. Many students protested this action.
“Where else am I going to be able to pay $20 to have a social life?” said Shaun Howard ‘19. “I only get into the bars on campus about half the time.”
Members of the class of 2019 hope that Birdwell will one day have enough bones to erect a monument to the boneyard.
For now, they have settled for one hardosaurus’s bone set in place of the Marquis’ sword. He now stands watching over the campus with a firm grip on his bone.
“It’s really been a swell experience, discovering the boneyard here in Easton,” said Birdwell. “This is one small step for paleontology, one giant leap to making everyone forget about the whole niposaurus drama.”