COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition

The Dakhleh Oasis Project by COSI
April 28, 2008, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Construction News | Tags: , , , , , ,

Author: Kate

We’re continuing to film interviews for the Lost Egypt exhibition. Two weeks ago we met with Dr. Tosha Dupras at WOSU@COSI.

Tosha is one of our project advisors, and has been with us since the beginning of Lost Egypt. She’s an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Central Florida, and she teaches human osteology (the study of human bones), and forensic anthropology. She works at a couple of different sites in Egypt: the Dakhleh Oasis Project, and more recently, Dayr al-Barsha.

We had a great time interviewing her – it was fascinating to hear her talk about forensics and the bones she uncovers. She left for Egypt last week for another field season. Here’s my favorite picture of her, riding one of the military camels in Egypt!

The Dakhleh Oasis Project is really interesting. It is in the Western Sahara Desert in Egypt, one of five major oases there. Many different archaeological teams from universities and organizations work there, looking at many different time periods in Egyptian history, since there have been people living or traveling through the oasis from the Middle Pleistocene (around 400,000 years ago!) through today.

Scientists are studying the interaction between environmental changes and human activity here, which helps us better understand the present-day problems of life in a desert oasis, where there is fertile soil but a finite supply of water.

The Dayr Al-Barsha Archaeological Project is being led by an archaeological team from Belgium. Talking to Tosha about her different projects made us realize how many different languages you need to speak, read or at least understand as an anthropologist or archaeologist.

There are universities and organizations around the world leading the projects, and even within a team from the United States, there are often people from different countries hired as specialists. In addition, within Egypt, most of the teams are assisted by local crews, so communication is a big issue. French, German, Dutch, and Egyptian Arabic are among the languages it is useful to know (not to mention being able to read hieroglyphics!).


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