Public Lecture: Dr. Ina Plug

The DITSONG: National Museum of Natural History will be having a public lecture on Thursday the 29th of May 2014. The lecture will be presented by Dr. Ina Plug and is titled “Wrestling with bones: a journey”.

Dr. Ina Plug obtained her doctorate at the University of Pretoria in 1988 on the animal remains from Iron Age sites in the Kruger National Park. From 1977 until 1999, she was a researcher in the Department of Archaeozoology at the Transvaal Museum (now the DITSONG: National Museum of Natural History).

She has over 130 scientific publications to her name, most of which deal with the skeletal remains of southern African animals. During her career she has been a member of many professional societies, including the South African Museums Association, the Farm Animal Conservation Trust (as a Council Member), the South African Archaeological Society, the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists, and the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ).

Animal bones are fascinating, beautiful and frustrating all at the same time. Learning to identify bones reliably, takes intensive training and years of hands-on experience. Archaeological bones are usually fragmented, often burned, chewed, trampled upon, and generally try their utmost to complicate the life of the analyst. During her journey to become at least moderately competent, she visited many countries, attended many meetings of ICAZ (International Council of Archaeozoologists where she currently serve on Council).

In this talk, she will touch on major differences of the same bone from different animal groups and how these differences are adapted to form and lifestyles of animals. She looks at some of the countries she visited and discusses some of the unique problems faunal analysts have to deal with. Finally she touches briefly on bone pathology and the cultural use of bone. The talk will be followed by the launch of Dr. Ina Plug’s book, “What bone is that?

A guide to the identification of southern African mammal bones.” The book describes and illustrates the postcranial skeletal remains of most southern African mammals. Most are drawn life size, thus the book is a useful and unique aid in identifying skeletal remains, for archaeozoologists, archaeologists and anyone interested in natural history. Some pathological bones, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish bones as well as a few molluscs are also illustrated.

The book will be for sale at the launch at a cost of R580-00.

The public is invited to attend this talk and the details are as follows: Event: Talk titled the “Wrestling with bones: a journey” presented by Dr. Ina Plug

Venue: DITSONG: National Museum of Natural History – Auditorium

Date: Thursday, the 29th of May 2014 Time: 18h00

Cost: FREE.

Safe parking available behind the Museum: Entrance in Minnaar Street R

SVP & enquiries: Bongi Mogorosi, email or 012 0000040

Media enquiries: Lucia Kutumela Marketing and Communications:

DITSONG: Museums of South Africa Tel: 012 000 0010

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