No Bone Unturned: Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

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No Bone Unturned: Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology (14:00)
Item# 32975

This ABC News program spotlights the work of Doug Owsley, curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, who is a keen interpreter of the silent yet expressive language of bones. Owsley and his biographer, Jeff Benedict, give examples of how he has used bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology to unravel mysteries ranging from identifying an exhumed Civil War cavalryman to determining the true cause of death of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh. Owsley’s career-risking suit against the government for the right to study the Kennewick skeleton is also discussed. (14 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (4)

1. Forensic Investigators "Read" Bones (03:20)
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Forensic investigator Doug Owsley "reads" human bones. He can discover a corpse's age, lifestyle, diet, and geography by studying its bones. He is called to study a civil war soldier's remains.

2. Human Bones Reveal Historic Evidence (03:13)

Human bones can tell whether a person rode a horse, ate sugar, had health problems, or was murdered. Owsley's research has solved historical mysteries and murder cases.

3. Owsley's Research Solves Mysteries (03:00)

Owsley's research indicates Branch Davidian David Koresh died from a gunshot wound, not by fire. He identifies a Guatemala victim by comparing bone samples with the victim's x-rays.

4. Kennewick Man (03:07)

A skeleton thousands of years old found in Kennewick, Washington, shakes the foundation of man's belief of how and when humans first came to North America. The discovery is tied up in court.

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