June 19, 2003
Iron Man

Carrie gets a no-prize with its boots still on for bringing us this story of the forensic examination of a mysterious cast-iron coffin.

From my own experience I can say the state of preservation actually sounded quite good. Sometimes in the anth lab I worked in during undergrad school I'd be assigned to wash the skeletons found in historic grave sites. There were many, many times I'd pull a foil-wrapped bone-shaped lump from a box, set it in the washing screen, and spray away only to be left at the end with chips.

With these sorts of "emergency" projects (emergency in that there's a limited time in which to do the work) they take all kinds of casts and photographs in addition to the basic writeups and diagrams. Depending on the family's preferences, they also could have taken bone samples for spectrographic analysis. Eventually they'll end up with a very comprehensive profile of who this person was, what they did, sometimes what they ate and many times how they died. Bones of your ancestors indeed.

Posted by scott at June 19, 2003 09:59 AM

eMail this entry!

Fascinating, it is ashamed you couldn't make a living with your Anthro degree. Maybe someday you will have the opportunity to go on a dig.

Posted by: Pat on June 19, 2003 03:30 PM
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