The Secret in the Cellar - New Exhibit Inspires Webcomic

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She may not be Lara Croft, but Ana the intern is one sharp student of anthropology. With long brown hair wrapped in a red bandana, a tattoo on her left bicep, and blue overalls, she is serious about earning course credit. That's why the student at the University of Maryland, College Park, signed up with The Lost Towns Project, a team of archaeologists digging up colonial Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to solve local mysteries of history. Ana's discovery of a human skull buried in the ruins of a 17th-century house cellar inspires a personal quest to find out who it belongs to... and you can help.

Based on real people and events that took place in 2003, Ana's story is told through the Smithsonian museum's first interactive Web comic "The Secret in the Cellar: A Written in Bone Forensic Mystery from Colonial America." Using graphics, photos and clickable activities, the comic takes full advantage of the Web, easily engages younger audiences as well as teaches old timers a thing or two.

The Web comic is one of several components of the exhibit "Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake" opening today, Saturday, February 7, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Keep an eye out for the March 2009 issue of the magazine to learn who the skull belongs to.

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