Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Tony Krus

Second Advisor

Dr. Silvana Rosenfeld

Third Advisor

Joleen Pietrzak


Osteobiography, 14C Measurements, Sarcophagus, Mummified Remains


Osteobiography is the compilation of molecular and anthropological analyses to reconstruct the pre-, peri-, and post-mortem histories of individuals. Post-mortem histories of human remians can extend millennia after the time of death, such as the many Ancient Egyptian mummies brought to North America during the 19th and 20th century for carnivals and sideshows. A sarcophagus curated at the W.H. Over Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota, has been tentatively identified as dating to the Ptolemaic Dynasty (330-30 BC), but casts doubt on sumbols used as they do not represent known hieroglyphs. The sarcophagus was prominently displayed at a 21st century amusement park carnvial and roadside museum in Nebraska and a consensus was not able to be tentatively made on the age of the skeletal remains. Obtaining 14C measurements on the mummified individual within the coffin will help to identify authenticity and establish a time period for this individual. The comparison of this measurement, along with the analysis of current information of the sarcophagus will aid the osteobiographic interpretation of the mummified individual. Further analysis of the mummified remains has also yielded answers to question in regard to the individuals health, social status, and age at time of death.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.