Forensic sculptor, Amanda Danning, gave a tour de force presentation today at LIFE. Amanda does facial reconstruction geared toward archeology, not criminology. Her sense of history, artistic ability, and love of science make for a unique career and specialty. Her passion, talent, knowledge, and creativity are evident in this thoughtful, fascinating, and unusual presentation. Amanda has the ability of a trained professor to engage the audience, asking questions, probing for thoughtful answers, and involving the audience in live demonstrations of skull damage with Bowie knives and such. Reconstructing faces from skulls seems like an impossible task, but Amanda explained it so well that even the lay mind can get an inkling of her techniques. One super interesting dig involved the skeleton of a human male and a young female which dated back ten thousand years. This was a ritual burial with symbols, riches, forethought, and time – not something you think of in Paleolithic man. And these were not the race of our “native Americans.” This skeleton named Sam was facially reconstructed by Amanda and truly changes mankind’s view of history.
Want to learn more? Here are some books Amanda recommends:
Written in Bone by Douglas Owsley and Karin Bruwelheide
No Bone Unturned by Jeff Benedict
Faces From the Past by James Deem
The Kennewick Papers by Douglas Owsley (coming soon perhaps early 2014)
And visit Amanda Danning’s website: amandadanning.com/