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July 17, 2010


Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC

Last fall, I had the *amazing* opportunity to work on an excavation at Congressional Cemetery.  It was a really old vault and it was starting to cave in, so we needed to get everything out of it so it could be built back up.  But of course, since these coffins had been buried for a hundred years, they were severely degraded, and most had fallen apart.  We got Doug Owsley, the head of the physical anthropology department at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History (phew, that’s a mouthful), to come in and help us out.  We sifted through the debris to find the bones, so he and his team could piece the skeletons back together.

It was, in a word, awesome.

(I know this photo isn’t of a gravestone specifically.  It’s our work site!!)

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