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VCU Archaeology

Dealing with Bone Identification

by Cameron Walker, Intern

walker in lab
My name is Charles Walker, my friends call me Cameron, and I have been an intern at the Virtual Curation Laboratory for the 2016 spring semester. Going into this semester there was a great deal that I expected to learn and experience during my time as an intern, and I am glad to say that as of the time of writing this I have had the pleasure of being introduced to many of them.

My main hope before beginning this internship was to take full advantage of the 3-D printed artifacts and information dealing along the lines of zooarchaeology within the lab. I knew that I would have to do any task needed to be accomplished or asked of me during the duration of my internship, but I hoped that I would be able to do as much as possible in relation to my interest as possible. Fortunately, Dr. Means was far and away accommodating and attentive towards my interests and the interests of everyone within the lab. After only briefly expressing my desire to work within the sub-field of zooarchaeology Dr. Means did his best to gear most of my involvement in the lab towards this interest.

Another thing that that I was hoping that I could learn during my time as an intern was how to do perform activities associated with lab work in general. I knew that I would need these skills later on in my life, and that this would be a great way to collect skills earlier on then most others would. Just as what happened to my previous wish, I was able to obtain what I expected and more. From labeling 3-D printed artifacts for most of my lab hours to the occasional cataloging by way of spreadsheet I was able to gather important skills.
What I was able to learn these past few months related nicely to what I would like to accomplish during my future career as an archaeologist, the handling, cataloging, and interaction with ecofacts. I was able to accomplish this through both labeling these 3-D printed artifacts, by way of nail polish and respective id numbers on pieces of paper, or by assisting Dr. Means and Zoe, the lab manager, with lessons dealing with bone identification. Being allowed to handle these replicas and having access to the information on the lab’s website helped me with my identification skills, so much so that I feel that I would be no where near as comfortable with what I know as I am thanks to this experience.

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