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Cathy Robbins Thinking Aloud

Bones Make a Difference

The people of Pecos and Jemez Pueblo accompany the remains of their ancestors―behind them in the white semi-truck―to their final rest. Photo by Cary Herz.

Bones! American Indians must have felt the pain of remembrance when the remains of Richard III were displayed, and the world responded with a “frenzy of forensic romance,” according to Newsweek. The monarch’s bones had rested serenely under the asphalt of a parking lot in England until researchers found them and confirmed his identity. He met a gruesome end at the Battle of Bosworth field in 1485, and his body, which showed signs of two lethal blows to the head as well as “humiliation” wounds after death, was simply stuffed into a grave. Richard violent death ended a  Read More 
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The Past Was Looted; Now It’s Saved

The ancestors come home to Pecos. Photo by Cary Herz.

In the early 1900s, Harvard archaeologist Ted Kidder was pulling so many bodies out of ancient Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico that he worried he might run out of money for his "dig." It was one of the biggest and most important archaeological projects in the United States, and he ended up spending more than a decade on it. He shipped the 2000 bodies he found back east, and for 80 years, they sat on shelves, one body per box - at Harvard's Peabody Museum. During that time, the old pueblo became  Read More 
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