Dr. Tiffiny A. Tung will appear on a new Discovery Channel docu-series called, “Mummy Autopsy,” in which she and colleagues examine mummies and skeletons from around the world to reconstruct their ancient lifeways and determine their causes of death. In the show, Dr. Tung uses her expertise in human skeletal anatomy and paleopathology to determine the demographic profile (age and sex) of skeletal populations and to identify diseases that may have afflicted prehistoric communities. She also uses her osteological skills to document evidence for traumatic violence and ancient human sacrifice. She is the Director of the Beringa Bioarchaeology and Archaeology Project in southern Peru, a site that will be featured in one of the Mummy Autopsy episodes. Her research in the Andes of Peru has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Fulbright Scholars Program, Sigma Xi, and Vanderbilt University.
In the classroom, Dr. Tung draws from her research projects in Peru and from Mummy Autopsy cases to teach students how to read the body for indicators of disease, ancient forms of warfare, and other physical and social phenomena that affect the skeleton. This new series brings the academic world of bioarchaeology and forensic science to a wider audience.