You know you are at a forensic science anthropology field school when you are sitting at lunch eating chick with a bone and people start asking strange questions. What bone is it? What is it (chicken) ethnicity? Is there evidence of trauma or disease? Can we analyze it? Other items at the table such as milk bringing up conversations of tuberculosis and brucellosis. Tuesday in our morning class we talked about the process of washing and cleaning bones as well as bagging and labeling. It is very important to keep organized and label everything! Tuesday afternoon we started discussing how to determine the sex of the individual based on morphology, metrical and multivariate statistical methods. We were able to talk a lot about differences in the morphology of the bones between men and women. The pelvis is the most accurate indicator of sex followed closely by the cranium. Long bones are also sexually dimorphic, meaning that there are differences in the bones between men and women. I can’t wait to be able to apply what we’ve learned when we analyze bones!
Wednesday we took a day trip to the city of Gjirokaster to take a look at the ancient citadel, prison block and the city. It was such a neat little town! The citadel was filled with many canons and one tank from World War II. I found it interesting that the tank was made by Fiat! There was also an American plane that sits at the top. It was claimed by the communist that they shot the plane down. However that is untrue and likely that the pilot and crew ejected before the plane crashed. We believe it was a plane used in training flights and had technical difficulties. It was neat to see an old piece of American history sitting at the top of Gjirokaster!
Professor Washburn gave a presentation on the history of Albania which was fascinating as well as confusing. Albania has a very complex history I highly encourage you to read about it! There seems to be a common trend throughout the history of the country being under many different rulers and different forms of governments. There was quite a few shifts in the religion of the country as well. Albania was officially listed as an atheist state for a small period of time! It’s amazing to think that just in 1997 they were consumed in a civil war! This trip so far has been completely fascinating with learning forensic anthropology as well as the culture and history of Albania!
Wifi has not been very strong, unfortunately I won’t be able to post pictures in tonights blog. Hopefully I will be able to get some more posted soon!