When Bones Talk



"That's how I feel about the skeletons in my laboratory. These have tales to tell us, even though they are dead. It is up to me, the forensic anthropologist, to catch their mute cries and whispers, and to interpret them for the living, as long as I am able." -William R. Maples, Dead Men Do Tell Tales

Welcome to HOL's first forensic anthropology class! I'm Prof. Silmarien Szilágyi.

The name of this course is somewhat peculiar, because, unless enchanted by magic, bones don't talk--not like you or I do, at least. But they do tell stories, often dark ones, about what happened to their owners before and after death. Bones endure, enabling forensic anthropologists (AKA forensic osteologists) to learn all sorts of things, including if murder was committed.

This one-term class is designed to introduce students to the subfield of forensic anthropology, which means that there will be images of bones in the various scenarios a forensic anthropologist would encounter them. Some of the images have disturbing stories (e.g., murder via hammer); as such, the only requirement is that you be fine with this.

My goal in creating this class was to share the remarkable work that forensic anthropologists do with equally remarkable bones. And, if I'm being perfectly honest, I hope to dispel any misconceptions that certain television shows (e.g., Bones) produce.

Because this is a HOL-affiliated class, all HOL rules apply and all lessons are either G- or PG-rated. Please read the "FAQs" section before beginning your homework. Finally, send all questions/concerns to hol.bones@gmail.com.