Forensic anthropologist shares secrets of the pastNews


By Rocco Scarcello

bearyMissouri Valley College’s Murrell Library hosted Mark Beary, a forensic anthropologist and archaeologist, on Friday, Jan. 27 as he gave a presentation titled “How We Know What We Know About The Past”. The event was presented by MVC’s Honor Program.

Beary, who is a consulting forensic anthropologist for the Boone County Medical Examiner’s office, talked about a variety of topics regarding anthropology and archaeology over the roughly one hour and 30 minute presentation. He also discussed how the two disciplines are important to learning about the past.

The first part of the presentation focused more on helping the audience understand the gist of the fields, while the second part was based more around what he does professionally. Both parts were extremely interesting. Beary was able to break down a very complicated subject and convert jargonistic lingo into understandable dialogue for a crowd full of MVC stufents and professors from a wide array of departments and focuses.

Part of Beary’s goal was to spread interest in what he does.

“Any student that is really interested in forensic anthropology should start with a good base in the sciences, and obviously have an anthropology background,” Beary said. “Within anthropology, the key places to focus would be biological – or what they call physical – anthropology, and it doesn’t hurt to have some relevant experience in archaeology too. But the primary focus is going to be on skeletal biology and the biological nature of anthropology.”

Prior to Beary speaking, an introduction was given by Dr. Claire Schmidt, director of the Honors Program. For more information on the Honors Program and their future events, contact Dr. Schmidt.


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