ANTHROP 1AA3 Chapter Notes -Paleopathology, Hip Bone, Forensic Anthropology

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Week 6 Readings 09/02/2013 8:19:00 PM
Pages 194-108
Human Osteology and Skeletal Biology
Human osteologists study osteology the branch of anatomy that deals with
the structure and function of bones
ability to reconstruct biological profile or osteobiography
applied to medico-legal context, this is forensic anthropology
Biological Profile
Able to reconstruct age at death, sex, indicators of biological
ancestors, and estimate of living stature
meant to shed light on the person’s way of life and what happened
over the span of their life
Age
Can be determined through teeth (baby and adult teeth change at a
certain age), long bones of arms and legs grow prominences
lengths and proportions of bones change in predictable ways as
children grow
Sex
females have a pelvis with a large birth canal, affecting the shape
of the hip bone and sacrum
Males have larger and more robust teeth and skull
Stature
formulas developed by biological anthropologists can calculate the
size of a human’s length from estimates obtained from skeletal
remains
Archaeological Populations
Bioarchaeology field that deals with the excavation and analysis of human
skeletal remains from archaeological contexts
Palaeodemography takes the osteobiographical data for all the individuals
in an archaeological sample and analyzes those data to learn something
about a past population
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key features include age, sexual structure of the population,
examination of the rate of infant and childhood mortality
principal aims of paleodemographic investigations include the
determination of trends in human life span and mortality and the
size/structure of past populations
Health
palaeopathology analysis of evidence of ancient disease
o confined to trauma and chronic conditions
o establishes populational patterns of illness and injury
o looks at biological and sociocultural impacts of political and
military conquests and territorial incursions
Ancestry
How human history changed by genes (via inbreeding); how the
people in the world are becoming more alike
Populational approach has replaced radical approach
o recognizes all levels of biological difference incorporate or set
of individuals can be indentified by a specified trait or traits
Helps biological anthropologists to generate hypotheses on cultural
data such as continuity from prehistoric to historic groups, or social
practices such as within-group marriage rules
Ancient Diets
Plant and animals remains recovered from archaeological sites
provide information about the food items available
o able to give insight on agriculture, consumption of terrestrial
foods vs. marine foods, access to food by age, sex and/or
status
o Tooth wear is correalated with abrasives in food, but the
source of abrasives are not always clear
fibrous fods, lightly cooked meat/vegetable, grit
o Cavities may be caused by acids from fermentation of food
sugars in the mouth, increase in mouth bacteria
Residence and Mobility Studies
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Document Summary

Human osteologists study osteology the branch of anatomy that deals with the structure and function of bones. Ability to reconstruct biological profile or osteobiography. Applied to medico-legal context, this is forensic anthropology. Able to reconstruct age at death, sex, indicators of biological ancestors, and estimate of living stature. Meant to shed light on the person"s way of life and what happened over the span of their life. Males have larger and more robust teeth and skull. Stature formulas developed by biological anthropologists can calculate the size of a human"s length from estimates obtained from skeletal remains. Bioarchaeology field that deals with the excavation and analysis of human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. Palaeodemography takes the osteobiographical data for all the individuals in an archaeological sample and analyzes those data to learn something about a past population. Key features include age, sexual structure of the population, examination of the rate of infant and childhood mortality.

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