Dirt and Bones

My friend’s family owns a farm in central Tennessee and lost most of their livestock to some mysterious mass death many years ago. As a student in Biophysical and Forensic Anthropology, my interest in traveling for bones was peaked. We took a road trip to collect dirt, skulls and various other long bones. I passed many of them on to my professor, who sent some into the lab.

The Farm


020 (3)



Still living, bless.



The Collection


The Horse


Well-articulated mandible and skull



Inferior view



The Others 

002 (2)



008 (2)


Deer vertebrae

003 (2)

Domesticated goat skull


We collected around three dozen samples altogether but some were still in active stages of decay or otherwise too fragile to transport. Cause of mass death remains unknown, but likely an invasive fungus/bacteria in the soil or in the creek that runs through the center of the property.

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