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Bonnie Glencross

Bioarchaeology What is it?  Anatomy gross and microscopic study of anatomical structures  Archaeology  study of past human societies through artifacts, biofacts, architecture, landscapes  Anthropology  study of humankind  Science  a system for acquiring knowledge through experimentation and hypothesis testing How do bioarcaheologists know what they know?  Bone is a very dynamic/ plastic tissue  Bone morphology is influenced by genetics and the environment  Life history events are recorded in the skeleton Subfields of osteology  Paleodemography: Study of ancient population structure, mortality and fertility  Population relations: study of biological relationships and migration based on morphological and molecular variations  Paleopathology: the study of ancient health and disease; origin and evolution of disease  Paelonutrition: the analysis of prehistoric diets and dietary intake in relation to health and disease Protocol  Biological profile: o Are the skeletal remains human or animal?  At a macroscopic level, bones & bone fragments with join surfaces should be identifiable. Fragments need to be directly compared o How many individuals are represented by the skeletal remains?  Min number of individuals (MNI) = an estimate  If remains are in good condition & relatively complete, MNI is probably accurate  add  Reconstruction  check for cross-mends & summarize  represents the maximum number of individuals  Overlap  look for overlap in elements, move towards a preliminary conclusion  Excluding  non-overlapping elemts on the basis of size, sex & age
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