Just popping on quick, not really on this site anymore except to check personal messages. Mostly over in the Atari Museum group on Facebook. Since I have a connection to the recent dig, wanted to make some comments/share some info.
Curt and I are actually helping out with resources for the documentary, plus I was supposed to help out with the dig but could not make it down. I did lend one of my ROM switching carts though, and was in contact with everyone during the process including some of the ex-Atari people on site.
1) The location dug up was next to the concrete cap, they didn't dig into the main concrete cap area. They dug down towards the main layer the Atari portion of the landfill was in on Friday and saved the actual digging up of that layer for Saturday.
2) Some of the important ex-Atarians there were of course Howard Scott Warshaw, Jerry Jessop, and Jim Heller. Jim was probably the most important, he was the Atari person responsible for the dumping and the eventual steamrolling and covering with concrete. Jim brought with him the original paperwork, which verified there were only 728,000 games dumped there. Not "millions" and only a small portion of those were ET. The rest of the truckloads were the previously mentioned consoles, computers, peripherals and parts. It should be interesting to note that a lot of the kids who originally looted were actually there as well (with the carts they originally took and/or ROM chips taken from crushed carts) and many are now city officials.
3) There was a team of actual archeologists leading the dig efforts (volunteers from various universities). They are the ones in charge of cataloging what was found and compiling the final list.
4) In total there were 21+ titles cataloged from the dig (I'm still waiting for the final list) and it included Atari 5200 titles as well. These were everywhere from individually retailer shrink-wrapped boxed carts to full Atari shipping boxes of titles. There was also various peripherals recovered in the day's dig as well. Here is my current list of found titles, based on my direct talks with people there and the photos that made it out. I will be getting the official list, but can't release it until after the documentary.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Real Sports: Football
Star Raiders (with the original video touch pad pack in)
Hardware wise: 2600 parts, joysticks, paddles, driving controllers, video touch pads
5) Also verified: This was not a dump trying to hide mass amounts of Atari's stock from it's warehouses. This was all returned stock from retailers, and many of the individual items still had the shrink wrap and store price tags on them. For those not familiar, Atari did not ship games shrink wrapped, those were usually added on by retailers when the items were to be put on the shelves. Rather, large shipping boxes full of an individual title were shipped to retailers, and many of these large retailer boxes can be seen in the photos as well. It verifies another thing as well that we were told repeatedly during interviews and wrote about: Atari Inc. had nothing in place for returns (return of unsold stock by retailers for credit), because they hadn't dealt with the notion of large scale returns before. So they declared the stock "defective" and gave it to El Paso, since the El Paso plant was also the Atari Service Center hub., so these returns were simply marked off as "defective units" and given to the Service Center hub for disposal. Being the Service Center hub, it would have dealt with all "defective" products. Hence what was reported in the newspapers at the time about Atari officially stating it was all "defective merchandise" being disposed of was technically accurate. As for Andre181's question, again this wasn't unsold stock/overstock from Atari's warehouses. Many still had the shrinkwrap and price stickers from their respective retailers still on them. This was stock returned from retailers for credit (similar to what's often done in other industries like toys and books). That type of thing usually never gets recycled back out to retailers, and the tax write off on returned "defective" merchandise is usually more desirable. Likewise it would have zero bearing on manufacturing, as was already shown there wasn't much of a manufacturing vs. warehouse logistics/tracking system in place anyways. Additionally it's a little odd for Andre to discredit our entire book based on his misinterpretation of our research and what we did or did not ask or had as a resource, and I'm actually quite surprised at that attitude given our previous interactions in PM. However, that type of attitude is one of several reasons I'm not really on here much any more.
6) We were just as surprised at the relatively good condition of a lot of the materials recovered. However they weren't as good as many of you are taking them as. A lot of the cartridge casings were warped (can't tell if it's from the original crushing or just from the elements) and the actual electronics in them were very corroded. The team responsible for testing the sample of games that were kept couldn't get any to work at the time (Saturday night and Sunday), including after desoldering the game ROMs from the PCBs and putting them in my ROM switching cartridge.