Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project


Dinosaur Project Chores Field Note Book Handle Bones Recipes Notes  

Not the fruit of experience, but experience itself, is the end.   
Walter Pater


Come and work your fingers to the bones!

The Dinosaur Project provides each participant the opportunity for a valuable experience is a scientific research activity with a Christian perspective.


The project operates out of a fine camp, Camp Cretaceous, built and maintained by the Hanson Research Station. The facilities include a building with electricity and water, and, therefore, hot water, showers, and toilet facilities as well as kitchen and meeting room. We also have a satellite Internet connection, primarily for project use, but also permits participants to make limited contact with the 21st century.

Participants bring their own "living quarters," generally a tent, but camping trailers, RV's, etc. are also found.

Participants need to be aware of all the others so that the experience is an enjoyable one for all.

what to expect what to bring


Participants, except for project directors and those with other responsibilities, are assigned to a chore group that rotates through responsibilities. This way no one individual ends up, as an example, preparing meals every day.


Course activities

Generally each evening Monday through Thursday a lecture topic is presented in the dining room. Students are required to attend. All participants are invited!

During the lecture all participants are requested to avoid entering and leaving the room. Quiet would be appreciated!


Each morning, Sunday through Friday, after breakfast is finished and personal preparation for the day is attended to (your lunch is made, sunscreen applied, water bottle filled, etc.) the group meets for a brief worship—generally under the big top outside. The worship chore group for the day is responsible for the activities.

At the end of the worship the project leaders typically make announcements.

Sabbath morning worship is arranged by the project leaders.

At the beginning of the Sabbath hours Friday evening and the end of the Sabbath Saturday evening there is an informal worship usually with enthusiastic music. The project leaders are responsible.


Work in the quarries is to uncover bones, identify them, record them, and to remove them is the primary activity of the project.

The bone bed is an extremely rich one. You will be finding and dealing with dinosaur bones!

The primary method is to emphasize safety—safety for you, safety for others, and safety for the fossils.

handle bonesquarry rulesField Note Book


Each Friday afternoon work in the quarries is halted early so participants can shower and collect their laundry for a trip to Newcastle.

This trip usually includes an opportunity for camp grocery shopping to fill requests and for fresh, perishible food as well as an opportunity for each participant to make some personal purchases. Dinner for Friday evening is typically taken at one of Newcastle's fine eateries.

Other trips to visit appropriate sites in the Black Hills area may be taken on any selected day. Destinations may include:

  • Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD
  • Black Hills Institute in Hill City, SD
  • Geology Museum at the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, SD

In addition, there may be opportunity to visit some other interesting sites such as:

  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
  • Custer State Park, SD
  • Devils Tower National Monument, WY
  • Crazy Horse Monument, SD

area attractions


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