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Students in Associate Professor of Anthropology John Barthelme's course Anthropology 410, Zoo Archaeology (Faunal Analysis) have received the approval of the New York State Museum in Albany to study unidentified prehistoric faunal collections -- bones and teeth -- as part of their course work.

Barthelme believes that it is the first time the museum has allowed primary unidentified collections to be analyzed by undergraduates. Some of his previous classes have worked with collections from a "pre-contact" Iroquois site near Gouverneur, N.Y., and Fort La Presentation in Ogdensburg. Most recently, students have identified unanalyzed specimens from excavations near the U.S. Army's Fort Drum, close to Watertown, N.Y.

Students will be doing primary research and submitting their results to the museum for inclusion in scientific reports. The museum will evauate the work and, if it is judged to be of very high quality, more collections will be offered for future student identification and research, Barthelme said.

The New York State Museum's collection includes more than five million specimens and artifacts, reflecting over 160 years of research in natural and human history. It is considered one of the most significant records of New York State's natural and human history.

Posted: January 31, 2003