I see dead people! The adventures of a bioarchaeologist

Lecture Synopsis

As a bioarchaeologist, A/Prof. Ronika Power studies human skeletons and mummies from across the ancient world to gain better understanding of what it was like to live (and die) in the past. Ronika is a doctor, detective and bone-digger all rolled into one, so her toolkit includes Science, Technology, the Arts and Humanities, Mathematics and Medicine. By bringing all these fields together, she's able to tell detailed stories about the health, lifestyles and environments that people experienced from as long as 10,000 years ago in Egypt, Kenya, Malta and beyond. This seminar will illustrate the nature and scope of Ronika's work, and argue that bioarchaeology is more relevant and necessary today than it has ever been. To build better local, national and global communities, Ronika seeks to guide decision-makers by showing them real lessons from the past, including the science of human health, climate change, mass migrations and violence. In this moment where global societies are challenged by tension, division and a rapidly changing planet, it seems the past has never had a more critical role to play in shaping the future.

About Ronika Power

Ronika Power is an Associate Professor of Bioarchaeology in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University; an Honorary Research Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge; an elected Fellow of the Society for Antiquaries London and the Royal Society of New South Wales; and the only Humanities-based practitioner selected to be one of the 30 inaugural Superstars of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for Science and Technology Australia. In 2019, she has been awarded the Max Crawford Medal for achievement and promise in the humanities by The Australian Academy of the Humanities; the Kwang-su Lim Early Career Award of the Union Académique Internationale (UAI), Brussels; and the 2019 New South Wales Tall Poppy Science Award.