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Half day volunteering

Outside of the Royal College of Surgeons. Image taken rom http://nobelbiocare-eyearcourse.com/fgdp.html.

Outside of the Royal College of Surgeons. Image taken from http://nobelbiocare-eyearcourse.com/fgdp.html.

Yesterday I could only spend the morning at the Royal College of Surgeons as was meeting family for lunch for a birthday meal. It was a shame that I could only volunteer for a couple of hours but I still managed to see some interesting things!
When I got there the other volunteer was already there talking to the curator of the wet specimens of the museum. He was telling us that’s he’s worked had to prepare some pretty interesting things for crime cases in the past including a murder who had carried out cannibalism – that was one way to start the morning! This conversation was happening because of a skull cap that was in one of the boxes ready for inventorying. This specimen still had some fatty residue on the inside surface of the cap which I have to say was pretty gross! The most interesting thing about it through was the blunt force trauma present. I’ve only read about the effects of this type of trauma but have never seen any in person. It was interesting to see how the trauma effect the skull as well as the fracture patterns of the blow. These specimens came from the New Scotland Yard Crime Museum which Martin, the wet specimen curator, has done some work for. I must go away now and look up the museum to find a bit more about it – it sounded fascinating from what Martin way telling us, a little gross and macabre but intriguing none the less! Like I said that was one way to start the day!
As well as the skull cap we also saw a mandible and maxilla set which had fillings. Again I’ve never seen actual fillings in a jaw as I have mostly handled medieval remains so it was different looking at something that was clearly quite modern. After a few hours and documenting a few bones I had to leave but it goes to show that even if I’m there for a few hours I will see some pretty cool things!

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