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30 Adam Van Arsdale’s forensic anthropology class

Students explore artifacts during and outside class for Adam Van Arsdale’s forensic anthropology class

In which teams of students search a simulated crime scene. “I plant a ton of stuff. My dog’s old bones, bottle caps, photo negatives. But half the stuff the students find isn’t stuff I planted. Every little thing is potential information. Then we critically examine what it means to categorize and share what we’ve found. How does that old bone become a scientific fact, or legal evidence, or public knowledge?” Adam Van Arsdale is a professor of anthropology and the department chair. He started the Dmanisi Paleoanthropology Field School, an intensive summer research experience at the oldest human fossil site outside of Africa, in the Republic of Georgia. Wellesley students recently uncovered a 1.8 million-year-old human heel bone.