For Immediate Release

Zooarchaeology Lab Open House on Columbus Day

(Cambridge, Sept. 10, 2009)

Did you know animal fossils and animal bones reveal…

· Whales used to live on land before they returned to the sea. The closest living land relative to a whale is a hippopotamus.

· The seal was once an animal like a cross between an otter and a wolverine.

· Some snakes once lived on land as lizards. Today their vestigial legs are visible only when examining their bones.

The bones from archaeological digs can reveal what people ate, what animals they hunted, and what animals lived around them. Find out how experts work with archaeologists to identify animal bones from excavations all over the world at the annual Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Zooarchaeology Lab Open House on Monday, October 11, 2009 (Columbus Day) from noon–4:30 PM.

Peabody Museum zooarchaeologists will demonstrate what the bones reveal using modern animal skeletons. Visitors are encouraged to compare modern animal bones from the Museum’s collection to bones from the prehistoric predecessors of today’s animals. The museum’s collection of over 900 specimens includes a large number of domestic animals like sheep, goats, cattle, horses, dogs, cats, snakes, and turtles. This event is a favorite for children. Bring your own bone to get it identified!

(See more October Archaeology Month events on the Calendar.)

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

Now on Facebook facebook link, Flickr flickr link, and Twitter twitter link

Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397

What: Zooarchaeology Lab Open House, Free with Museum Admission
Where: Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave.
When: Monday, October 12, 2009 (Columbus Day)   Noon–4:30 PM
Contact: 617-495-8317 (Peter Burns, Zooarchaeology Lab)