On October 27, 2023, the SCAS participated in the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum’s “Museum of the Macabre” event; a costume party that included cocktails, food, games, an outdoor movie, and all sorts of creepy-crawlies. There were many booths highlighting paleontology, mushrooms, bats, insects, “biggest fears”, worm casting, etc. The theme was “underground”.
The SCAS booth focused on how archaeologists distinguish between human and non-human remains when encountering bones in the field. We had a polymer replica of a human skeleton, a bunch of non-human faunal remains (some showing historic butcher marks) from the SCAS outreach box, tools, and a bunch of reference materials. When people approached the booth, we discussed the process archaeologists go through when encountering a bone during a ground-disturbing project, such as involving the coroner, the tribes, assigning a MLD (Most Likely Descendant) and how legislation such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and CAL-NAGPRA leaves the fate of any human remains or grave goods to the associated tribe (as well as any analyses).
SCAS members Pat Paramoure (SCAS’ Vice President) and Sarah Brewer (SCAS Professional Advisor) set up the booth and were joined by John Schlagheck (SCAS Member and local professional archaeologist). Many people just wanted to learn more about what archaeologists do and, of course, what SCAS was all about. We handed out many items of schwag, and membership forms and discussed our monthly presentations at the Resource Center for Nonviolence. We are pleased to report the event and our booth was a big hit!