Winter Break Work

2 December 2022

The CARCAS Lab has been active this winter with the Towsley Endowment for the Sciences award funding continued student work through the break. Regular activities have continued on with the processing and preparing of more animal specimens for Carleton’s comparative collection. The CARCAS lab also recently acquired a collection of bison bones from a local farmer and landowner Larry Richie. These bones were preserved in a sinkhole on his land and have been donated to Carleton for use in our comparative collection. 

Identification and labeling of Bison bones. Photo by Ezra Kucur.

In addition to the continuation of regular CARCAS lab work, faunal analysis and bone identification of remains excavated from Carleton’s Arboretum from Archaeological Methods classes over the past several years has begun. Prof. Sarah Kennedy has led the charge in instructing students on identification and zoo-archeological techniques. Kennedy hopes to publish work about these findings in the next year. 

Students who participated in Kennedy’s research project in Peru last summer (PAMA 2022) have also continued their work in creating public-facing documentation and writing articles for publication. Pamphlets with findings and warnings about the dangers of heavy metal contamination have been created at the request of the Peruvian Ministry of Culture following the Carleton group’s findings. These pamphlets were created in collaboration with Kennedy and students from the project. 

Donated skeletal remains of a Bison. Photo by Ezra Kucur.

Sophie Baggett ‘23, recipient of the Larson International Fellowship, is working on an individual piece for publication in the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship about her positionality and experience in the community outreach portion of the PAMA 2022 project. Baggett and Prof. Sarah Kennedy are co-writing an article for the Journal of Participatory Research Methods that will focus on the methodology of said community outreach work.

On behalf of CARCAS lab, we would like to extend our gratitude to Larry Richie for his willingness to support Carleton’s efforts in creating our comparative collection. 

Written by Ezra Kucur (‘25), CARCAS Lab Manager

Contributions from Sophie Baggett (‘23)