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Final Exam Review - bioarchaeology.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Bonnie Glencross

What is bioarchaeologyThe scientific study of prehistorichistoric human remains What is bioarchaeology seeks to explain human behavior within an evolutionarybioculturalframework Martin et al 2013 Context includes culturalenvironmental variables relevant to the interpretation of the remains Bioarchaeologistsaskanswer questions about who people were and what were their lives like eg Why do some populations have high morbiditymortalityothers dont eg Why is there a sexual division of laborWhat is bioarchaeologySpecialists Generalists Integrative combining data setsapplying theory Engaged pursuing a larger goal of value to stakeholdersdescendant groupsinvolved parties Ethical self reflectioncritique concern for the scientific process Martin et al 2013 Start with a research question Be concerned withconduct research in an ethical manner Provide replicablescientifically sound data Include data on mortuary contextfunerary items Disclose theory that informs their interpretationsPerus Mass Grave MysteryThe Chachapoyawere a strongindependent people living in the mountainous region of Peru over 400 years ago Suddenly the entire tribe appeared to vanish overnight The discovery of a site with the remains of more than 100 individuals has archaeologistsbioarchaeologistson the hunt to find out who or what claimed the lives of these individualsThink About how scientists were able to piece together what happened to the Chachapoya Consider What line of reasoninglogic did the scientists use What types of evidence were recovered How do the different pieces of evidence inform us about the perpetratorsWhat line of reasoninglogic did the scientists use Start with observations of a phenomenon for which there is no clearimmediate explanation Hypotheses are formedevaluated based on limited data available Develop an explanation that is sufficient to describe the phenomenonmost parsimonious scenario Abductive reasoninglogic Over 100 skeletons Exposednot buried Located together in a small area at the edge of the cliff Hints of a fire Positioning of bodies Kuelapa sacred mortuary sitecemetery Mortuary behaviorburials placed in crevices of rock face MummiesHypothesis and ExplanationInca massacreObservationInca warring state trying to control territoryresources Inca pottery found at ChacapoyasiteMaterial culture evidencebulk of pottery Chacapoya Inca pottery also foundConclusion could be just trading with Inca need additional evidenceEpidemic ObservationColonial pottery indicates presence of Europeansfixes dateSkeletal evidenceexpectation of no evidence of disease or traumawould affect everyoneConclusionsample mainly males evidence of cranial trauma not infectionAttack by SpanishObservationColonial pottery indicates presence of Europeansfixes dateSkeletal evidenceholes to large for musket ball no evidence of sword or sharp force traumaConclusionblunt force trauma not inflicted by firearms or swordsRitual sacrificeObservationritual sacrifice among other tribes mummies demonstrate distinct pattern of trauma associated with ritual sacrificeSkeletal evidencedoesnt fit pattern of females with cranial trauma to right templeArchitectural evidenceritual buildingtemple lacking evidence of victims disarticulated bones believed to be from venerated ancestorsAssassination by rival tribe Observationoral history relates tale of massacre perpetrator came undercover of dark
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