Today I started my new volunteering opportunity which has allowed me to start handling human bones again. What can I say – it was awesome! I met some really nice people and I got to work with human remains, which I haven’t been able to do for the last couple of years.
My day started with meeting the other volunteer, Diana, and a tour of the areas I would be working in and would need. This was followed by a health and safety talk (a little dull but necessary) and shown where the necessary fire exits were. This meant going down the back staircases of the building which was pretty cool. We then got a bit of lunch were I met some of the other people working in museum department. Two of the women I met work with the wet specimens, one helps conserve the specimens and the other makes models, such as brain, for surgeons to practice on. They were really lovely and funny people and am looking forward to getting to know them a bit better.
After lunch we started work on the human bones. The museum basically has a large amount of human bones in their storage which has been donated to them from various collectors and organisations. These have been used as teaching tools and have very little known about them. Our job is to go through the various boxes and to take an inventory of the bones present. The three boxes we got through today included half complete skeletons so out job was pretty straight forward to begin with. As well as noting which bones were present we had to side them, note any pathologies and decide whether they would be useful as future teaching tools. Next week we have four boxes waiting for us which came from someone like the St. John’s Ambulance service and contain many bones. Our aim will be to put out all of the bones and try to identify if any of the bones belong to the same individual. I’m very much looking forward to this and cannot wait for next week!
I am so grateful for this opportunity and have been waiting for something like this to come up for ages and am so happy that I am getting the chance now. I can’t wait to get more aquainted with more bones and of course the people working there.