Over his fifty-year career as an anthropologist, University of Tennessee Professor Emeritus William M. Bass excavated ancient skeletons and recovered the remains of murder victims. He also headed UT’s anthropology department for more than 20 years and trained many of the nation’s current leading forensic anthropologists.
The University of Tennessee Libraries, which holds the research and teaching materials documenting his illustrious career, will honor Bass and celebrate the Dr. William M. Bass III Collection at an upcoming event. The public is invited to a lecture by Bass and a reception in his honor on Thursday, October 30, at UT’s John C. Hodges Library.
A reception in the Jack E. Reese Galleria begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture in the Lindsay Young Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Guests also may visit Special Collections to view items from the Dr. William M. Bass III Collection.
Bass is perhaps best known to the general public as the creator of the “Body Farm” — officially the Anthropology Research Center. The Body Farm was the world’s first laboratory for researching the processes and timetable of decomposition of human remains.
Bass has recounted the story of the Body Farm to many audiences. His talk at the UT library will be something different. He will focus on his more traditional pursuits in the field of anthropology, including excavating human skeletal remains in the Great Plains in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution. His field study notebooks from these excavations are among the materials Bass donated to the UT Libraries to create the Dr. William M. Bass III Collection.