Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton

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M. Anne Katzenberg, Shelley R. Saunders
Wiley, Apr 27, 2000 - Science - 504 pages
The biology of prehistoric and early historic peoples is studied largely through the analysis of hard tissue. Fascinating changes have occurred in the analysis of human skeletal and dental remains over the past few years for various reasons. Factors such as new technology, advances in the field of forensic anthropology, and heightened ethical concerns regarding the study of aboriginal peoples’ remains where those people are no longer the dominant culture have emerged as significant themes for research and are examined in this comprehensive book.

Organized into five parts with contributing chapters written by experts in the field of human skeletal biology, Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton delves into a variety of areas unique to literature. Part One covers theory and application, which leads to Part Two’s discussion of morphological analyses of bone, teeth, and age changes. Following in Part Three are reviews of prehistoric health and disease. Part Four examines chemical and genetic analyses of hard tissues, and Part Five closes with coverage of quantitative methods and population studies. Such in-depth topics as how humans have regarded the dead over time and across cultures, the ethics of skeletal research, and the contributions and advances in research analysis are essential elements contained within this book. Other subjects covered are:

  • Dental morphology, highlighting new methods of characterizing tooth size and shape
  • Recent investigations of microstructural growth markers in dental tissues
  • Studies based on gross observations of bones, gross observations of teeth, and microscopic studies
  • Bone structure at the histological level and the factors that account for variation
  • Stable isotope analysis, trace element analysis, and the extraction and amplification of ancient DNA
  • Plus many other topics that contain the common thread of determining information about past peoples from their skeletal and dental remains

Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton covers a scope of major topics in human skeletal biology and will be an indispensable research guide to biological anthropologists, osteologists, paleoanthropologists, and archaeologists.

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A Historical Perspective
Methodological Considerations in the Forensic Applications
Biomechanical Analyses of Archaeological Human Skeletons

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