CARCAS logo with animal skull and bug outline. Stacked text reads Carleton Archaeological Research Collection of Animal Specimens in black with the first letter in each word Red.

The Carleton Archaeological Research Collection of Animal Specimens (CARCAS) is an osteological comparative collection, dermestid beetle colony, and 3D digital repository of animal skeletons located at Carleton College and directed by professor Sarah Kennedy.

Established by Sarah Kennedy in 2021, CARCAS is dedicated to understanding the relationship between humans, animals, and the environment. In our lab, we focus on the curation, analysis, storage, and interpretation of archaeological animal remains. We use dermestid beetles to skeletonize animal carcasses of birds and mammals, and the cleaned skeletons become part of our osteological reference collection. This collection is then used by students and professors as reference material to help identify animal bones found in archaeological excavations around the world.

tagged animal bones laying on trays on top of lab table
Mathew Zappa ’22 working in the lab