Day 1, 1/11

The last post about the camel’s brush hair should have said they are predominantly made with squirrel fur; after that it’s a mix of other animal hairs, my apologies to my dear readers who were deceived I am sorry

After several wrong turn-offs* this morning I made it in to the university. Our small class of about 10 people was given a crash course on skeletal anatomy and we handled genuine human bone plastic replicas.**

Some learnings:

• Forensic anthropologists and archaeologists have to be familiar with something called siding. Which is not about choosing your team in an argument, but figuring out how you orientate each bone so you know left from right. Which is wild, because human carpals and tarsals are all very nearly shapeless blobs and all our phalanges look the same.

Sided phalanges

• Archaeologists get hired in droves during mining booms, to look at sites before extractivist corporate overlords go in and ruin everything. Feels ironic that a profession about preserving heritage gets employment when, y’know, we plunder our earth’s resources

• When human remains are uncovered, the police get called, and once a crime scene is ruled out, they just rebury the remains and people build whatever they need to on top (At least I’m 99% sure I heard correctly what the lecturer lady said, much to my shock).

Generally we had a marvellous time!

*The university is ~30min from my house with big signs and well marked roads. Getting lost while driving is a recurring theme of my life, am vaguely concerned about what this will mean when I am hunting for dig sites via unnamed dirt paths in the wilderness.

** Plastic replicas joke was repurposed from the TV show Friends, as told by palaeontologist Ross. As a class, we were still expected to get into the habit of treating them with respect.


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