There's a lot of human history buried deep below the ground. As our world population grows and cities expand, it's not that uncommon for construction work to accidentally unearth human remains that no one alive even knew were there. But when that happens, a rare opportunity arises to learn about the past directly from the individuals who were there to live it.

By examining what's left behind in a grave after centuries of decomposition, scientists can get a clearer idea of what foods people ate, how physical labor left its mark on bones, and what infectious diseases may have spread from person to person. Hear from forensic archaeologist Kimberlee Moran and Carter Clinton, a National Geographic Explorer and genetic anthropologist, about how they reconstruct the past by analyzing skeletons and grave soil from historic burial grounds.

Dive deep into the world of Animals, Science, and Natural History in our original video series Nat Geo Explores.

The National Geographic Society, committed to illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world, has funded Explorer Carter Clinton’s work. Learn more about the Society’s support of Explorers at nationalgeographic.com/impact.

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