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Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Mummies, Molecules and Mysteries: Venerated Ancestors of the Ancient Andes

9th February 2007, 16:30 to 17:30, The Birley Room, Hatfield College

Jane Buikstra is Professor of Bioarchaeology and Director of the Centre for Bioarchaeolological Research at Arizona State University. She has been a major influence in the establishment of the subdiscipline of bioarchaeology. She is particularly interested in the co-evolution of humans and Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

This presentation will illustrate how we learn about the past through the scientific study of ancient mummies. Using a series of seven case studies, beginning with the oldest prepared mummies in the world, we explore the social, political, and health-related inferences that may be addressed through the study of desiccated human tissues. These examples, drawn from the pre-contact Andes, illustrate the manner in which the ancestors played significant roles for descendant communities, as they also inform us uniquely about the past.

The IAS Fellows' Public Lectures are free and open to all

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.