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Special Lecture: Smithsonian Institute

October 3, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join the Houghton Chapter of the NYSAA and the Buffalo Museum of Science for a special lecture from Dr. Douglas W. Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution, Life and Death in the 17th Century Chesapeake.

Techniques from forensic analysis of the human skeleton are applied to the study of 17th-century remains from Jamestown and Historic St. Mary’s City. This talk will demonstrate how specialized scientific testing (DNA, stable isotopes, and heavy metals), along with advanced imagery methods (high-resolution micro-computed tomography, 3D virtual modeling, and 3D data capture), can increase our knowledge of the lives and death of the early American colonists. Highlights include “Jane,” the victim of survival cannibalism during the “Starving Time,” identification of four high-status men buried in the first church within James Fort (1608), and recent archaeology designed to locate important leaders buried in the second church, dating to 1617.

Ages: All

Cost: FREE with Museum admission. Seating is first come, first served.

About the Speaker: Dr. Douglas Owsley, division head for Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., is considered one of the foremost forensic anthropologists at work today. He has identified remains from news-making crime scenes, mass disasters and war zones, including Jeffrey Dahmer’s first victim, the Waco Branch Davidian compound, the 9/11 Pentagon plane crash and war dead from the former Yugoslavia. Owsley received his B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Wyoming and his Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology from the University of Tennessee.

Doug is fascinated with the wealth of information that can be recovered by studying the human skeleton – not just the cause of death, but also details about the life of a person. In addition to forensic case work, he conducts extensive research on historic and prehistoric populations from North America. These include the remains of 17th-century colonists, Civil War soldiers, and ancient Americans – such as the nearly 9,000 year-old Kennewick Man. Highlights of his work at Jamestown and Historic St. Mary’s City were featured in an exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History entitled Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake (2009-2014).


October 3, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Buffalo Museum of Science
1020 Humboldt Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14211 United States
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