We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

The Bioarchaeology of Individuals

Ann L.W. Stodder

Publication Year: 2012

From Bronze Age Thailand to Viking Iceland, from an Egyptian oasis to a family farm in Canada, The Bioarchaeology of Individuals invites readers to unearth the daily lives of people throughout history. Covering a span of more than four thousand years of human history and focusing on individuals who lived between 3200 BC and the nineteenth century, the essays in this book examine the lives of nomads, warriors, artisans, farmers, and healers.

The contributors employ a wide range of tools, including traditional macroscopic skeletal analysis, bone chemistry, ancient DNA, grave contexts, and local legends, sagas, and other historical information. The collection as a whole presents a series of osteobiographies--profiles of the lives of specific individuals whose remains were excavated from archaeological sites. The result offers a more "personal" approach to mortuary archaeology; this is a book about people--not just bones.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (60.6 KB)
 

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (54.0 KB)
 

List of Figures

pdf iconDownload PDF (67.8 KB)
pp. vii-ix

List of Tables

pdf iconDownload PDF (53.2 KB)
pp. xi-

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF (67.8 KB)
pp. xiii-xiv

The record of the history of the human condition is provided by a range of sources. This book series focuses on the remarkable fund of data recovered from the contextualized study of ancient human remains. Previous books in the series highlight key trends and circumstances, ranging from global patterns of...

read more

1. Osteobiography and Bioarchaeology

pdf iconDownload PDF (98.9 KB)
pp. 1-8

This book is a compilation of osteobiographies—interpretations of the lives of people whose remains were excavated from archaeological sites. The foundation of each chapter is the study of an individual beginning with the skeleton and then expanding the analytical and interpretive scale from the grave...

Part 1. Ancestors and Descendants

read more

2. The Magician: An Ancestral Hopi Leader

pdf iconDownload PDF (571.3 KB)
pp. 11-25

A burial from the site of Ridge Ruin in northern Arizona is renowned among archaeologists who work in the U.S. Southwest. When excavated in 1939, the grave was found to be one of the richest ever documented in the region. Because the mortuary offerings included ritual artifacts similar to those used by the...

read more

3. The Axed Man of Mosfell: Skeletal Evidence of a Viking Age Homicide, the Icelandic Sagas, and Feud

pdf iconDownload PDF (714.6 KB)
pp. 26-43

The discovery of the skeletal remains of the person described in this chapter is one of many scientific results of the Mosfell Archaeological Project, an ongoing international research effort we began in 1995. The project’s goal is to produce a comprehensive reconstruction of human adaptation and environmental change...

read more

4. Legendary Chamorro Strength: Skeletal Embodiment and the Boundaries of Interpretation

pdf iconDownload PDF (593.4 KB)
pp. 44-67

This chapter focuses on a protohistoric Chamorro (Chamoru) man referred to as Taotao Tagga’ (a man of Tagga’, Tinian), situating him within his culture, society, and historical period. Chamorros are the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, an archipelago in the western Pacific that consists of two...

read more

5. Mortuary Evidence for Maya Political Resistance and Religious Syncretism in Colonial Belize

pdf iconDownload PDF (282.9 KB)
pp. 68-82

Excavations at the Classic period Maya site of Chau Hiix, located in northern Belize, uncovered two Historic (ca. A.D. 1520–1660) burials within a palace structure. Both individuals were young males, and an analysis of their dental morphology shows them to be Maya. At the time of the interments, Chau...

Part 2. Ancient Travelers and “Others”

read more

6. Social Marginalization among the Chiribaya: The Curandero of Yaral, Southern Peru

pdf iconDownload PDF (485.8 KB)
pp. 85-95

Curanderos, or healers, represent essential components of Andean communities, both today as well as in the past. Guaman Poma de Ayala, a native Peruvian who documented many aspects of the preconquest Inka world, acknowledged their importance in his Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno [1613] (1987). Guaman...

read more

7. A Neolithic Nomad from Dakhleh Oasis

pdf iconDownload PDF (364.0 KB)
pp. 96-112

When thinking about ancient Egypt, most people envision the massive pyramids and pharonic tombs of the dynastic period. But people lived in, and journeyed through, Egypt for millennia before this. Predynastic Neolithic people were not pyramid builders. Instead, they were hunter-gatherers and nomadic...

read more

8. Lesley: A Unique Bronze Age Individual from Southeastern Arabia

pdf iconDownload PDF (414.2 KB)
pp. 113-126

Tell Abraq is a multiperiod settlement on the Persian Gulf coast of the United Arab Emirates that was occupied continuously from ca. 2200 to 400 B.C., with evidence of limited reuse in the first and third centuries A.D. (Potts 2000a) (figure 8.1). The site consisted originally of a massive fortification tower, about...

read more

9. The “African Queen”: A Portuguese Mystery

pdf iconDownload PDF (413.6 KB)
pp. 127-147

In the spring of 1947 a young farmer named Joaquim Inocêncio Militão began plowing a field on a large agricultural estate, the Herdade de Torre de Palma, located 5 km northwest of the town of Monforte in the Alto Alentejo, eastern Portugal. His plow struck the granite base of a column in an open area south of...

Part 3. Craftsmen and Artisans

read more

10. Sew Long? The Osteobiography of a Woman from Medieval Polis, Cyprus

pdf iconDownload PDF (358.2 KB)
pp. 151-161

Mortuary practices of the early medieval period (mid- to late first millennium A.D.) in Cyprus are known from only a handful of sites. At Polis Chrysochous, excavations conducted by Princeton University since the mid-1980s have uncovered over 200 burials clustered in and around two medium-size, early...

read more

11. A Master Artisan? Tribute to the Founder of a Teotihuacán Apartment Compound

pdf iconDownload PDF (883.1 KB)
pp. 162-176

Teotihuacán, in the central highland basin of Mexico, was one of the largest cities in the world during its florescence from ca. 100 B.C. to A.D. 600, and certainly the most influential in Mesoamerica during that time. Teotihuacán grew and nucleated rapidly, and by the A.D. 200s had some of the largest and...

read more

12. Vulcan: Skilled Village Craftsman of Ban Chiang, Thailand

pdf iconDownload PDF (344.4 KB)
pp. 177-192

The history of the Ban Chiang project and the story of this collaborative archaeological excavation, one of the first in Southeast Asia, are vital to understanding the site, each of the individuals buried there, and their contributions to the prehistory of the region. The osteobiography of Vulcan documents a talented...

read more

13. Written in Stone, Written in Bone: The Osteobiography of a Bronze Age Craftsman from Alalakh

pdf iconDownload PDF (440.3 KB)
pp. 193-214

Tell Atchana was first recorded as site number 136 by the Braidwoods’ archaeological survey of the fertile Amuq plain, once within the cultural sphere of ancient Syria, now in the modern nation of Turkey (Braidwood and Braidwood 1960). Shortly thereafter, Sir Leonard Woolley recognized that this mound on...

Part 4. Farm and Village

read more

14. Life and Death of a Mother and Child in Nineteenth-Century Ontario, Canada

pdf iconDownload PDF (346.0 KB)
pp. 217-228

This chapter is about a woman and her child who both died of acute illness in September 1848 and who were interred in a small family cemetery in Upper Canada (part of the present-day province of Ontario). We focus on this known mother-infant pair to illustrate the value of information derived from...

read more

15. Thumbprints of a Midwife: Birth and Infant Death in an Ancient Pueblo Community

pdf iconDownload PDF (373.4 KB)
pp. 229-241

This study explores the hazards of childbirth and infancy in a prehistoric Puebloan settlement. The focus of the study is a skeleton found buried in the floor of a room in Pueblo I at the site of Nuvakwewtaqa at Chavez Pass in north-central Arizona. An unusual feature of this skeleton is a series of partially...

read more

16. Reading a Life: A Fourteenth-Century Ancestral Puebloan Woman

pdf iconDownload PDF (183.9 KB)
pp. 242-254

This study focuses on an adult female who lived at the fourteenth-century Puebloan village of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico (figure 16.1). Sedentary dry farming as a way of life dates to A.D. 700. in the Galisteo Basin of northern New Mexico. Population in this basin increased notably during the...

read more

17. From Cradle to Grave and Beyond: A Maya Life and Death

pdf iconDownload PDF (390.3 KB)
pp. 255-270

Bioarchaeologists, those whose studies take the remains of people as their terminus a quo, are neither unfamiliar with nor hostile to the notion of peopling the past. On the contrary, Buikstra (2006: xix) reminds us that bioarchaeology as an outgrowth of American anthropology emphasizes “peopling the...

List of Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF (70.1 KB)
pp. 271-275

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF (91.5 KB)
pp. 277-287

Further Reading

pdf iconDownload PDF (41.7 KB)
 


E-ISBN-13: 9780813042749
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813038070
Print-ISBN-10: 0813038073

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 84 b&w illustrations, 12 tables
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past
Series Editor Byline: Clark Spencer Larsen

Research Areas

Recommend

UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Human remains (Archaeology).
  • Persons -- History.
  • Biography.
  • Bones -- Social aspects -- History.
  • Excavations (Archaeology).
  • Historic sites.
  • Social archaeology.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access