Monday, 14 October 2013


I was shown the Palaeontology department. The particular project they showed me was focused on Birdheads. They had a huge collection of skulls, far more than I knew existed. They took me to one bench where two researchers were running a series of tests on the skull I found. I have no idea how they got hold of it. I guess they must have gone into the old station between the incident when Xi was killed, and the formation of the crater. The two scientists were scanning it in a large machine to create a three-dimensional model of the skull. Apparently, they're trying to identify formations that suggest commonalities between the different skulls.

The skulls are radically different from one another. Some of them look almost human; others are unrecognisable - I wouldn't think they were skulls if I saw them in another context. I asked my guide where they got so many Birdhead skulls, and she told me the skulls are provided for them from the field. I don't remember anyone in the field team mentioning finding Birdhead skulls; having seen the lower portion of the facility, though, I wonder whether there's a second group doing field operations.

The pride of their department is a Birdhead skull that Phillips found. My guide showed it to me, and I asked why I'd never read anywhere that Phillips found one. She told me it was covered up at the time, but couldn't tell me why. I asked how the facility came to have the skull now, and she said the organisation had just kept it. I didn't get it at first, but now I do: the group behind the facility is some continuation of whatever organisation was out here when Phillips was found. I don't really know what to make of that.

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