CSI: Ancient Egypt

On August 2, we had a big crowd for our CSI:  Ancient Egypt presentation!  Over 40 teens and adults came out to hear Dr. Stephen Phillips from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology talk about dead bodies!!  I didn't know what to expect, but it was so fascinating that no one minded when his presentation ran overtime.  Dr. Steve is a museum research assistant, but he should be a professor.  He's a great teacher! 

Dr. Steve talked about what forensic anthropologists do, connecting it to current TV shows like Bones and CSI.  He also briefed us on how bodies decompose, talking about the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility (a.k.a. the Body Farm).  Then, we learned some key parts of the skull structure that would help us identify male from female and give an approximate age range.  We looked at the shape of the back of the skull, the forehead and brows, and the jaw, as well as examined the presence and condition of teeth.  He had lots of interesting examples in his slides and kept the presentation interactive.  Finally, we examined the evidence surrounding the death of King Tut:  Was it murder by a blow to the head?  We decided that it wasn't, but the evidence did not rule out another form of murder like poison. 

The whole event was educational, but it was also fun.  Anthropology is really intriguing!  This program was funded by the Commonwealth Lecture Program and the Sellers Library Teen Advisory Board.  Thanks to everyone who showed up!  We hope to have Dr. Steve back again soon.

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