ANT-2100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Paleodemography, C3 Carbon Fixation, Natural Trumpet

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31 Oct 2016
Bioarchaeology: the study of the human biological component of the archaeological
analyze ancient human skeletal remains
understand health, life, and death of people in the past
what do bioarchs do?
human vs. non-human bone
take classes in human anatomy & osteology
osteology - study of bone
identify complete, near-complete, and fragments of bones
more often than not, bones are fragmentary
burial population
what is a burial population?
a group of human burials restricted to a certain time period and region
usually in a well-defined cemetery
well-defined interments
individual burials, not mass graves/jumbles of bones
exceptions - bundle burials (result from charnel house)
body placed in charnel house after death to de-flesh naturally, looked over by
caretakers, eventually gathered up, bundled together and buried together
collecting the data
identify element - femur, humerus, ribs, etc
identify side - right or left
identify sex of adults (when possible)
don’t identify sex of subadults because skeleton has not fully developed
pelvic area - sciatic notch is wider in women than in men
skulls - males more robust than females
identify age at death (all estimates/ranges, no exact age)
tooth eruption
all humans cut their first teeth 6-9 months, get adult teeth 6-7 yrs old, wisdom
teeth 18-21 yrs old
tooth wear and loss
the longer you live, the more your permanent teeth are worn down
bone fusion
growth plates
suture fusion
bone wear - especially after age 30
Paleopathology: the study of ancient patterns of disease and disorders
common diseases identifiable on bone
venereal and nonvenereal
cracks in bones
holes in bones
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