On Wednesday, June 29, our team hosted a "Random Act of Learning" at the Oaklands Sunset Market here in Victoria, BC. Among the festive atmosphere of live music, food trucks, and booth after booth of local artisans and producers, we set up a mini interactive classroom.
Continuing Studies instructor and forensic anthropologist Stephanie Calce was on-site with an intriguing display of skeletons and non-descript lumps of... what exactly? Bone? Wood? Shell? That's what participants had to determine for themselves.
Although our "students" were making their determinations based on no more than gut-instinct, a forensic anthropologist such as Stephanie would apply her knowledge of the human body along with skeletal analysis and archaeological techniques to determine the circumstances surrounding the discovery of human remains (ie. gender of the deceased, age, how long ago they died, and often even how they died, etc.). Real life CSI stuff!
And often that's what forensic anthropologists do: work with police on criminal investigations involving human remains, to find clues located on or around the remains that could lead to solving the case.
It's really a fascinating subject, and it seems the people visiting our dispay thought so too as we had no shortage of participants willing to test their knowledge and observational skills for the chance to win a gift card for UVic's campus bookstore.
So stay tuned for our next "Random Act of Learning"–you never know where we'll turn up!
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