Simon Mays The Archaeology of Human Bones

ISBN 13: 9780415480901

The Archaeology of Human Bones

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9780415480901: The Archaeology of Human Bones

The Archaeology of Human Bones provides an up to date account of the scientific analysis of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites. This completely revised edition reflects the latest developments in scientific techniques for studying human skeletons and the latest applications of those techniques in archaeology. In particular, the sections on ancient DNA and bone stable isotopes have been comprehensively updated, and two completely new chapters have been introduced, covering metric study of the postcranial skeleton and ethical dimensions of the study of human remains.

The Archaeology of Human Bones introduces students to the anatomy of bones and teeth, utilising a large number of images. It analyzes the biasing effects of decay and incomplete recovery on burial data from archaeological sites, and discusses what we may learn about burial rites from human remains. Subsequent chapters focus on demographic analysis of earlier populations, normal skeletal variation, disease and injury, isotopic and DNA analysis of bone, the study of cremated bone and ethical aspects of working with ancient human remains. Current scientific methods are explained, alongside a critical discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. The ways in which scientific analyses of human skeletal remains can contribute to tackling major archaeological or historical issues is illustrated by means of examples drawn from studies from around the world.

Technical jargon is kept to a minimum, and each chapter contains a summary of the main points that a student should grasp and a list of further reading targeted to enable students to follow up major issues covered in the book. Featuring case studies from around the world and with copious illustrations, The Archaeology of Human Bones continues to be a crucial work for students of archaeology.

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About the Author:

Ron Pinhasi received his PhD from the University of Cambridge, England in 2003. He spent two years in a Lise Meitner postdoctoral position at the Natural History museum, Vienna, examining the health status of early medieval Austrian populations. He is currently a lecturer in Archaeology, University College Cork, Ireland. His research focuses on growth and development in past populations, the origin and spread of leprosy in Eurasia, and the origins and spread of farming in the Near East. he carries out fieldwork in Israel and directs prehistoric excavations in Armenia. Key publications include 'Morbidity, rickets, and long bone growth in post-medieval Britain - a cross-population analysis' (with Shaw, White and Ogden), Annals of Human biology, 2006; 'A cross-population analysis of the growth of long bones and the os coxae of three early medieval Austrian populations' (with Teschler-Nicola, Knaus and Shaw), American Journal of Human biology, 2005; 'Tracing the origin and spread of agriculture in Europe' (with Fort and Ammerman), PLoS Biology, 2005; and 'A regional biological approach to the spread of farming in Europe: Anatolia, the Levant, south-eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean' (with Pluciennik), Current Anthropology, 2004. He is a member of the European Archaeological Association, and the Paleopathology Association.

Simon Mays received his PhD from the University of Southampton, England, in 1987. He is currently Human Skeletal Biologist for English Heritage and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Southampton. His research encompasses most areas of human osteoarchaeology. Key publications include: the Archaeology of Human Bones (Routledge, 1998); Human Osteology inArchaeology and Forensic Science (Greenwich Medical Media, 2000, co-edited with M.Cox); 'Palaeopathological and bimolecular study of tuberculosis in a mediaeval skeletal collection from England (with Taylor, Legge, Shaw & Turner-Walker), American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2001; Skeletal manifestations of rickets in infants and young children in an historic population from England' (with Brickley and Ives), American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2006. He is a member of the managing committee of the British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), of the Human Remains Advisory Panel of the UK Governmental Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and is Secretary of the Advisory Panel on the Archaeology of Christian Burials in England.

About the Author:

English Heritage, and University of Southampton, UK

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