Physical Anthropology Museum Specialist

Dr. David Hunt about to put a mummified child in a CT machine to do a scan. Dr. Bruno Frolich is standing behind him.
Dr. David Hunt and Dr. Bruno Frolich doing a CT scan on a mummified child from the Ptolemaic dynasty. Image NHB2011-01254 by Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian.

Dr. David Hunt is a physical and forensic anthropologist. He is the Physical Anthropology Collections Manager, overseeing more than 30,000 cataloged human remains, including mummies and other dried soft tissues, as well as non-skeletal materials such as facecasts, busts, hair, and dermal tissues. Dr. Hunt’s interest in anthropology and archaeology began with reading National Geographic Magazines as a child, especially about the discoveries of Mary and Louis Leakey and excavations of Greek and Roman sites. He first graduated from University of Illinois with two degrees, in Physical Anthropology and Classical Archaeology. He continued his education in human skeletal biology at the University of Tennessee, working with large skeletal collections housed there as well as being one of the first students to work in the famed “Body Farm” (human decay rate research facility), receiving his M.A. and Ph.D.

Dr. Hunt's research specialties are human skeletal biology, human variation, and forensic anthropology. He has published in these areas on such topics as skeletal morphometrics, human mortuary practice, mummy research, paleopathology, dermatoglyphics, mass graves, facial reconstruction, and the history of physical anthropology. He is active in forensic consultation to the Northern Virginia Medical Examiner’s Offices as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. His fieldwork in archaeology and physical anthropology has taken him to Mongolia, Italy, Egypt, Argentina, Spain and a multitude of sites and locations in the United States.