Most of the modern skeletal specimens in Written in Bone come from two remarkable research collections.
The Robert J. Terry Anatomical Collection
Today the Robert J. Terry Anatomical Collection is the most intensively studied research collection in the Smithsonian Institution. Many of the basic techniques for reading the age and sex of human remains emerged as researchers compared the detailed, identified "bone biographies" of the 1,700 individuals now in this collection, which was assembled between 1898 and 1967.
The University of Tennessee William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection
As a contemporary collection, the University of Tennessee William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection better reflects the present-day American population. All of the 750 skeletons in the still-growing collection were generous donations to science.
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