Join us as we walk around the labs, offices and archives of the Royal Museum for Central Africa to meet the scientists who work here. In this podcast series we explore the fascinating story behind eight objects. Each object was carefully picked by a researcher. Some objects are on display in the museum while others belong to the nitty-gritty of everyday research, but they all carry a bit of the researchers' passion for their field.
#1: Things are not always what they seem: a Central African Tutankhamun’s grave
How can archaeologists interpret what they see, and also what they don’t see? We dig deep into the story of a Central African grave with archaeologist Alexandre Livingstone-Smith.
Reconstruction of grave T53. Very rich burial from the Classic Kisalian period. Sanga, Upemba, Haut-Lomami, DR Congo. Kisalian Culture 900-1200 AD. Earthenware, metals (iron, copper), stone, bone. Excavation J. Nenquin, 1957. PO.0.0.79491-PO.0.0.79565
#2: From log to timber in the Congolese rainforest
We look at the giant log of an immensely popular timber species. In this episode, we tackle the heavy business of finding a delicate balance between the international timber trade and sustainable forest management with expert Nils Bourland (RMCA, Center for International Forestry Research and Research & Solutions Development).
Afrormosia. Stem disc. Compagnie Forestière de Transformation (CFT), Province Orientale, DR Congo. S.d. Wood (Pericopsis elata). Gift from CFT, 2015. Inv. TW6882.
#3: A fish tale from Lake Edward
Why would a fish get rid of its teeth on purpose? In this episode, things get fishy! We talk about weird habits developed by fish in Lake Edward, and get up close to evolution in the making with fish biologist Nathan Vranken.
Haplochromis relictidens. Lake Edward, Uganda. inv. RMCA 2017.006.P.007.
#4: A new life: aided by conservation, a dance costume moves again
In this episode, we marvel at a dance costume once used by the Pende population in Congo. Object conservator Siska Genbrugge talks about the challenges that her team encountered during the conservation and restoration of this intricate piece.
Dance costume. Katanga, DR Congo [Pende]. Collected by Albert Maesen, 1953. Inv. EO.1953.74.5400.