My area of speciality is zooarchaeology, the study of ancient animal remains associated with human activity. Being a zooarchaeologist means that you get to spend long periods of time identifying and analysing old dusty bones, many times in wonderful and exotic locations. Thinking and talking about bones is therefore an integral part of my existence.
My inquisitive friends and family sometimes ‘make the mistake’ of asking me about what zooarchaeology is all about. Because of this osseous obsession of mine these caring amigos and relatives are ‘subjected to’ lengthy and enthusiastic descriptions of what people were eating during the last ice age or what red deer toes look like. So when my friends and family think of me images of caves, Indiana Jones and old bones pop into their thoughts. This is what must have crossed my sister and brother’s minds when they were thinking about what to buy me for my birthday because they came up with the brilliant idea of buying me this domain, bones and skulls. I took this gift as the perfect opportunity to combine two of the things I enjoy the most: archaeology and writing. I therefore started blogging about bones, skulls, archaeology, animals in general, food and other bits and bobs. And the rest, as they say, is (pre)history.
What about the Yale Society?
Before receiving the domain as a birthday present I was totally unaware of the existence of the ‘Skulls and Bones’ society (same words as my domain, different order). I only came across Wikipedia’s entry for it when looking for illustrations of, you guessed it, bones and skulls. For those of you interested in finding out more about the society you can find an abridged and edited version of the Wikipedia entry below.
From Wikipedia (edited):
Skull and Bones is an undergraduate senior secret society at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1832 after a dispute among Yale’s debating societies, Linonia, Brothers in Unity, and the Calliopean Society, over that season’s Phi Beta Kappa awards; its original name was ‘the Order of the Scull and Bones’.
Skull and Bones selects new members every spring as part of Yale University’s ‘Tap Day’, and has done so since 1879. Skull and Bones ‘taps’ those that it views as campus leaders and other notable figures for its membership.
The society is known informally as ‘Bones’, and members are known as ‘Bonesmen’. Past notable ‘Bonesmen’ include George W. Bush (43rd President of the United States of America), Russell Wheeler Davenport (editor of Fortune magazine and founder of the ‘Fortune 500’ List) and Paul Giamatti (Academy Award-nominated actor).