Table of Contents

Social Bioarchaeology


Series Editors: Lynn Meskell and Rosemary A. Joyce

Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology is a series of contemporary texts, each carefully designed to meet the needs of archaeology instructors and students seeking volumes that treat key regional and thematic areas of archaeological study. Each volume in the series, compiled by its own editor, includes 12–15 newly commissioned articles by top scholars within the volume’s thematic, regional, or temporal area of focus.

What sets the Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology apart from other available texts is that their approach is accessible, yet does not sacrifice theoretical sophistication. The series editors are committed to the idea that useable teaching texts need not lack ambition. To the contrary, the Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology aim to immerse readers in fundamental archaeological ideas and concepts, but also to illuminate more advanced concepts, thereby exposing readers to some of the most exciting contemporary developments in the field. Inasmuch, these volumes are designed not only as classic texts, but as guides to the vital and exciting nature of archaeology as a discipline.

1 Mesoamerican Archaeology: Theory and Practice

Edited by Julia A. Hendon and Rosemary A. Joyce

2 Andean Archaeology

Edited by Helaine Silverman

3 African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction

Edited by Ann Brower Stahl

4 Archaeologies of the Middle East: Critical Perspectives

Edited by Susan Pollock and Reinhard Bernbeck

5 North American Archaeology

Edited by Timothy R. Pauketat and Diana DiPaolo Loren

6 The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory

Edited by Emma Blake and A. Bernard Knapp

7 Archaeology of Asia

Edited by Miriam T. Stark

8 Archaeology of Oceania: Australia and the Pacific Islands

Edited by Ian Lilley

9 Historical Archaeology

Edited by Martin Hall and Stephen W. Silliman

10 Classical Archaeology

Edited by Susan E. Alcock and Robin G. Osborne

11 Prehistoric Britain

Edited by Joshua Pollard

12 Prehistoric Europe

Edited by Andrew Jones

13 Egyptian Archaeology

Edited by Willeke Wendrich

14 Social Bioarchaeology

Edited by Sabrina C. Agarwal and Bonnie A. Glencross

Title page

List of Tables and Figures



4.1 Distribution of human remains at Tikal

4.2 Sex and age distribution at Tikal

5.1 Comparison of fertility estimates for Late Woodland mid-western sites

5.2 Suchey–Brooks pubic symphysis stage known age and archaeological samples to be tested

5.3 Coimbra female pubic symphysis stages and female age distribution. The last column shows the probability of death p(θ) or sample priors and derives from the actual known distribution of ages at death

5.4 Posterior probabilities for the Coimbra female pubic symphysis sample

5.5 Comparison of Coimbra female known age and age estimates (n = 100), derived by several different methods. The age-at-death distribution of the pubic symphysis reference sample is shown in the last column

5.6 Comparison of the known age Spitalfields female pubic symphysis (n = 56) with the estimates derived from several different methods

5.7 Demographic estimators for Ossossané ossuary

5.8 Summed probabilities of caries by age 16 in mandibular teeth

7.1 Percentage of crania classified into each geographic group, sexes pooled

8.1 Summary of study samples

8.2 Comparison of frequencies reported in skeletal populations

8.3 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia by age group

8.4 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia by age and sex in canines and incisors (controlling for attrition), (n = 48)

8.5 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia by age group in third molars (controlling for attrition), (n = 97)

8.6 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia by age intervals in mandibular canines

8.7 New York African Burial Ground frequency comparison of hypoplasia in incisors and canines, n = 37 (hypoplasias)

8.8 New York African Burial Ground archaeological temporal groups

8.9 New York African Burial Ground temporal analysis subsamples

9.1 Risk factors in leprosy

9.2 Risk factors in tuberculosis

10.1 Concepts of age in bioarchaeology, philosophy, psychology, social anthropology, and sociology

11.1 Developmental approaches in biological and social theory that can be used specifically in the study of bone morphology, maintenance, and loss

13.1 Distribution of single and multiple graves by age at death

13.2 Age distribution of deaths less than 20 years

13.3 Femoral length against dental age

13.4 Percentage of adult femur length attained, standardized to U.S. growth standards

13.5 Frequency of cribra orbitalia and lesions associated with porotic hyperostosis

13.6 Frequency of deciduous enamel hypoplasia

13.7 Percentage of individuals with permanent hypoplasic defects and mean

13.8 Mean defects on the maxillary central incisor and upper canine (only including those with >80% of crown height)

13.9 Number of deaths per month of life (based on 100 deaths between birth and 6 years of age)

13.10 Weaning ratios (D1-4/D0-1) among selected skeletal and modern populations

13.11 Model of survivorship and risk

14.1 Indian Knoll mortuary analysis – number of individuals having each grave good type by age cohort

14.2 Indian Knoll prevalence of long bone fractures by bone and sex

15.1 Percentage of teeth lost ante-mortem

15.2 Calculus rate by age and sex category

15.3 Prevalence of abscesses by age and sex category

15.4 Prevalence of Caries Rate and DMI by age and sex category


4.1 Schematic model showing the possible formation processes of archaeological deposits from the death of an individual until its discovery by an archaeologist. The funerary portion forms only a fraction

4.2 Ngaju Dayak of Borneo preparing the remains of a temporarily stored relative for final funerary deposition. This ceremony of secondary burial is called tiwah and forms a collective rite which is performed by the entire village. After their exhumation from the ground the bones are washed beside a small stream and the remaining hair and nails are removed. The cleaning of the bones is later followed by the purification of the soul. This part of the ritual is performed by a priest who circles a burning bamboo stick around the bones and chants in a sacred language. At the end of the tiwah the bones are buried into funeral structures above the ground (sandung), which already hold the remains of predeceased family members (Kuhnt-Saptodewo and Rietz 2004). The tiwah during which the photograph was taken lasted 38 days and involved 23 families reburying 35 deceased family members. It is subject of the documentary Bury me Twice by Kuhnt-Saptodewo and Kampffmeyer (1996)

4.3 Crystal cask in a wooden box at the Carthusian monastery of Mauerbach, Austria (post-funerary deposition); the container was used from 1683 to 1739 and holds the bones of King Frederick the Fair (d. 1330) from the House of Habsburg and his daughter Elizabeth (d. 1336). The bodies of King Frederick and his daughter were first exhumed by order of Emperor Maximilian I in 1514, rinsed with wine and temporarily stored in the vestry (Meyer 2000:70). When the Turks plundered the abbey in 1529 the mortuary remains were thrown out but then collected by inhabitants of the area and transported to Vienna. One year later they were returned to Mauerbach and buried in a stone coffin between 1557 and 1561. In 1683 they were threatened by the Turks once again and when the attack was over, inserted into the container shown in this figure. After the dissolution of the monastery by Emperor Joseph II in 1782 the bones were brought to Vienna in 1789 and reburied into the Habsburg house vault at St. Stephen’s, Vienna where they rest as of today in a small 18th-century coffin (Meyer 2000:70–72; Weiss-Krejci 2004:390)

4.4 Niche with human skulls in the facade of the Kaiser-Heinrich Kapelle at Kirchdorf, Tyrol, Austria (post-funerary deposition). The medieval churchyard chapel was rebuilt after the fire of 1809 (Widmoser 1970:397). The skulls, which were exhumed from the local churchyard, serve as memento mori. The skull on the outer left in the back row is painted, the second skull from the left in the front row shows evidence for being sawed open during an autopsy

4.5 Articulated Bronze Age skeleton from Clad Hallan, Sout Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The skeleton was found under the primary floor of a roundhouse (No. 2613). Analyses show that it is fabricated from the mummified remains of a female torso and a male head. The remains predate their deposition context by hundreds of years (non-funerary deposition)

4.6 General map of Tikal showing 16 square kilometers and Zones 1 to 7. One square measures 500 × 500 meters. The Tikal map was made by Carr and Hazard (1961:figure 1). The division into various zones is based on Moholy-Nagy (2008:figure 58)

4.7 A Cache 32/137 from below Stela 16, Structure 5C-17; Group 5C-1 (after unpublished drawing by Sally Bates 1963); B Cache 165 from tunnel in Structure 6E-146, Group 6E-2 (excavated by Dennis Puleston 1964; detail of earlier construction phase, after unpublished drawing)

4.8 A Problematical Deposit 76, Structure 5C-17; Group 5C-1 (after unpublished drawing by Christopher Jones 1963); B Problematical Deposit 64 alias old Burial 51, Structure 2G-59-1st, Group 2G-1 (after Haviland 1963:figure 95)

5.1 Comparison of age-at-death distributions of early and late period burials at St. John’s Church, Ashfield, Sydney

5.2 Estimates of historical fertility rates for Geneva shown as 95 percent CI ranges derived from J:A and MCM (data from Perrenoud 1984), compared with total fertility derived from life tables (circles) and fertility data (stars) given in Perrenoud (1990)

5.3 MCM and J:A, 95 percent CI for archaeological and historical data sets, showing positions of some of the samples discussed

5.4 Comparison of the hazard function calculated directly from the known age distributions (Spitalfields triangles; Coimbra stars) with the Bayesian estimated standard error range of the hazard rate for Coimbra, Spitalfields, and medieval German archaeological samples. The estimated ranges are more or less identical and do not include the significantly different known-age distributions

5.5 Data on cemental annulation analyses of 150 individuals from Isola Sacra necropolis, Ostia Antica, Italy. Of the 150 sectioned tooth roots, 53.3 percent were deemed unreadable by one or both laboratories. Age estimates based on range midpoints

5.6 Comparison of dental pathology in two Mesolithic shell midden burial sites in central Portugal. The seriated mandibles are equally distributed across the ten categories based on representation of molar sockets. A The frequency of caries, of abscessing, and of pre-mortem tooth loss summed to represent pathology rate on the y axis. B The caries rate (y axis) – number of teeth with caries as a proportion of number of intact teeth in each category

5.7 Percentage of Casa da Moura mandibular sockets empty due to postmortem tooth loss. Figures in bars refer to sample sizes for each tooth socket (highest n = 147)

5.8 Kleinburg ossuary, Ontario. A Representation of permanent tooth sockets, including congenital absence, pre-mortem and postmortem tooth loss, as a ratio of the socket with highest presence (pooled sides M1 socket, n = 1,092). B Percentage of permanent mandibular tooth sockets empty due to postmortem tooth loss (pooled sides mandibular sockets, n = 7,657)

5.9 Stable isotope values for Ontario sites showing the placement of Grimsby within the data set of Harrison and Katzenberg (2003)

5.10 Casa da Moura mandibular canine buccal crown heights (n = 219, sides pooled)

7.1 Metopic suture in individual 2775 from Écija

7.2 Os japonicum (i.e. a bipartite zygomatic bone) in the left malar of skeleton 11830 from Écija. This trait is unilaterally expressed in this individual

7.3 Map locating Écija relative to Sevilla and Córdoba in Andalucía

7.4 Strontium isotope ratios (Sr 87/86) by individual. Solid line represents mean value for the human samples. Dashed lines are two standard deviations from this sample mean

7.5 Plot of first two principal components (sexes pooled)

7.6 Plot of first two discriminant functions (sexes pooled)

8.1 New York African Burial Ground mortality

8.2 New York African Burial Ground, Burial 1, a woman who died between the ages of 20 and 25 years, displaying linear enamel hypoplastic lesions in the anterior maxillary permanent dentition

8.3 New York African Burial Ground, Burial 9, a man who died between the ages of 35 and 45 years, displaying linear enamel hypoplasia in the permanent mandibular canine and lateral incisor

8.4 New York African Burial Ground hypoplasia in third molars (n = 111)

8.5 New York African Burial Ground mortality by sex and age

8.6 New York African Burial Ground hypoplasia frequencies in deciduous dentition across temporal groups

8.7 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia: Early groups (Early and Middle groups combined, representing the late 17th century to approximately 1760)

8.8 New York African Burial Ground frequency of hypoplasia: Latter groups (Late Middle and Late groups combined, representing approximately 1760 to 1794)

8.9 New York African Burial Ground Harris Line frequencies by temporal group

8.10 New York African Burial Ground, Burial 122, a woman who died between the ages of 18 to 20 years. Her burial dates to the Middle temporal group (approximately 1735–1760)

8.11 New York African Burial Ground, Burial 47, a man who died between the ages of 35 and 45 years. His burial dates to the Middle temporal group (approximately 1735–1760)

8.12 New York African Burial Ground, Burial 40, a woman who died between the ages of 50 and 60 years of age. Her burial was assigned to the Late temporal group (approximately 1776–1794)

9.1 The immune spectrum of leprosy after Ridley and Jopling (1966)

9.2 Radiograph of a person’s hands affected by the bone changes of leprosy

9.3 Vietnamese beliefs about tuberculosis

9.4 Woman with tuberculosis affecting the spine

9.5 Anterior view of the face of a woman who suffered leprosy during life and buried in St. Stephen’s churchyard, York

9.6 North side of the “Ripon leprosy chapel,” North Yorkshire; note the lower window in the wall allegedly for people with leprosy to view the religious service in the late medieval period

9.7 Spine of an individual with tuberculosis buried in post-medieval Oxfordshire, England

9.8 Visceral surface of a rib head with a small amount of very subtle new bone formation, reflecting a pulmonary infection

9.9 Sanatorium of the early 20th century in Keighley, West Yorkshire

11.1 Diagrammatic model of the plasticity in development and maintenance of the skeleton over the life course

13.1 Map of Bahrain and the Arabian Gulf

13.2 Cortical thinning resulting in a lattice-like pattern due to marrow expansion on infant bones (one ilium, two pubi, one ischium, one vertebral arch, and one metacarpal)

13.3 Remodeling and cranial thickening in an adult with healed porotic hyperostosis. There is still marked bossing on both parietals with the surface showing infilling of cribrotic and porotic areas

13.4 Multiple linear enamel defects on unerupted permanent tooth crowns

13.5 Distribution of linear enamel hypoplasia by dental development unit

13.6 Distribution of gestational ages among infants less than three months of age at death, based on regression of femur length

13.7 Dental development unit in which first linear hypoplasic defect occurs

14.1 A healed childhood supracondylar fracture of distal humerus from Indian Knoll. Note the subtle posterior displacement of the articular region when viewed from the lateral side

14.2 Graph showing Indian Knoll fracture distributions across the life course – collective, males and females separately

14.3 Graphic representation of the traditional life cycle

15.1 Map showing Portus Romae (Porto) comprising both Porto di Claudio and Porto di Traiano

15.2 Scatter plot of the Isola Sacra rib data (n = 37), showing δ15N and δ13C versus estimated age-at-death. Solid horizontal line represents the adult female δ15N mean; dashed horizontal line represents the adult female δ13C mean

15.3 Histograms of δ15N and δ13C by age category

15.4 Age and sex distribution of the Isola Sacra permanent dentition sample (n = 325)

15.5 Percent AMTL by age and sex category

15.6 Caries Rate and DMI (Diseased Missing Index) by age and sex category

15.7 Tooth wear scores by age category

Notes on Contributors


Sabrina C. Agarwal is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. She received her B.A. and M.Sc. from the University of Toronto, and Ph.D. from the same institution, working jointly in the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, and subsequently enjoyed two years as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her research interests are focused broadly upon the age- and sex-related changes in bone quantity and quality, and particularly in the application of biocultural and evolutionary approaches to the study of bone fragility. More recently, she is particularly interested in the application of research in bone maintenance to dialogues of social identity and embodiment in bioarchaeology. She has examined age-related changes in cortical bone microstructure, trabecular architecture, and mineral density in several British archaeological populations, and is currently examining the long-term effect of growth and reproduction on the human and non-human primate maternal skeleton, studying samples from Turkey and Japan. She has recent publications in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and is co-editor of the volume Bone Loss and Osteoporosis: An Anthropological Perspective (with Sam Stout).

Valerie A. Andrushko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Connecticut State University. She received her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Since 1999, she has led a regional research program on prehistoric human burials from Cuzco, Peru, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Her recent articles include “Prehistoric Trepanation in the Cuzco Region of Peru: A View into an Ancient Andean Practice” (with John Verano; 2008) and “Strontium Isotope Evidence for Prehistoric Migration at Chokepukio, Valley of Cuzco, Peru” (with Michele Buzon et al.; 2009). Along with her long-standing research program in Cuzco, she has also investigated trophy-taking among prehistoric groups in California (“Trophy-Taking and Dismemberment as Warfare Strategies in Prehistoric Central California” with Al Schwitalla et al.; 2010).

George J. Armelagos is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His research has focused on diet and disease in human adaptation. He has co-authored Demographic Anthropology (with Alan Swedlund) and Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating (with Peter Farb), and has co-edited Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (with Mark Cohen) and Disease in Populations in Transition: Anthropological and Epidemiological Perspective (with Alan Swedlund). He has authored or co-authored over 260 articles and has had four of his papers reprinted 60 times. He has been President of American Association of Physical Anthropologists and Chair of the Anthropology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the recipient of the Viking Fund Medal for 2005, one of anthropology’s highest honor. He was the Distinguished Lecturer for the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association for 2005. In 2008, the American Anthropological Association awarded him the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service. In 2009, he received the Charles Darwin Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

Autumn R. Barrett is Assistant Director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William and Mary, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her M.A. from the College of William and Mary, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate. She specializes in historical anthropology of the African Diaspora, combining bioarchaeological, ethnographic, and documentary analyses. She was a contributor to the skeletal biology component of the New York African Burial Ground Research Project. Her research interests include childhood health within the context of life histories, the role of childhood and child labor in colonialism and nation-building, and the political economy of historical narratives. Her dissertation compares representations of African enslavement and revolt in Brazil and the United States, focusing on dialogue and socio-political contest surrounding the commemoration of two historic African cemeteries.

Patrick Beauchesne is currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of California Berkeley. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Western Ontario and his bachelor’s from McMaster University. His research interests began with histological investigations of bone pathology in archaeological skeletal remains and now include skeletal biology, growth and development, applications of computed tomography in biological anthropology, life history and evolutionary theory, and bioarchaeology. He has bioarchaeological field and laboratory experience in various countries including Peru, Italy, and Turkey. His most recent publication, Beauchesne and Saunders (2006), dealt with applying a simple hand-grinding method to the production of bone histological slides using archaeological skeletons. His current dissertation work involves exploring growth and development, physiological stress and life history theory in a Roman archaeological assemblage.

Michael L. Blakey is the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Anthropology, Professor of American Studies, and Founding Director of the Institute for Historical Biology at the College of William and Mary. He is a key advisor on prominent museum projects including the Race Exhibition of the American Anthropological Association and the National Museum of African American History and Culture of the Smithsonian Institution, where he held several prior research positions at the Natural History Museum. He was Scientific Director of New York City’s colonial African Burial Ground archaeological site that has become a National Monument. He has numerous publications in flagship journals on bioarchaeology, race, racism, ethics, and the history of anthropology. He has held professorships at Spelman College, Columbia, Brown, Rome, and Howard University where he founded the W. Montague Cobb Biological Anthropology Laboratory.

Bonnie A. Glencross is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. Bonnie studied at the University of Toronto where she received her B.Sc., M.A. and Ph.D. (2003) in anthropology, and produced her doctoral thesis on skeletal injury patterns and lifetime fracture risk in prehistoric hunter-gatherers from Indian Knoll, Kentucky. Beginning in 2006, she held a two-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology, University of California Berkeley. Her postdoctoral research remains a focus and is contributing to a long-term collaborative and interdisciplinary investigation of biocultural adaptations in the Neolithic community of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. In addition to her research in Turkey, she is also the primary investigator for a project on work-related injury and fatalities during the Victorian era in Ontario. She has published in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology on the identification of childhood skeletal trauma (Glencross, B. & Stuart-Macadam, P. (2000). Childhood trauma in the archaeological record. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 10:198–209), and on quantitative methods in bioarchaeology (Glencross, B. & Sawchuk, L. (2003). The person-years construct: Ageing and the prevalence of health-related phenomena from skeletal samples. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 13:369–74).

Siân E. Halcrow was awarded her Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University. She has research expertise in the analysis of health and disease of infants and children from prehistoric Southeast Asia and has worked as a bioarchaeologist on projects in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and New Zealand. She has published papers on dental formation, dental pathology, paleodemography, diet and childhood in the past.

Sandra E. Hollimon is an Instructor of Anthropology in the Behavioral Sciences Department of Santa Rosa Junior College. She is also the Director of the campus museum, which specializes in Native American art. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research concerns the antiquity of gender systems in Native North American cultures. In 2006, she published “The Archaeology of Non-binary Genders in Native North American Societies,” in the volume Handbook of Gender in Archaeology, edited by Sarah M. Nelson.

Mary Jackes studied social anthropology in Australia for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and moved to Canada to do her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. She became a fossil hunter at Olduvai and Laetoli, but was always frustrated by the necessity of making sweeping statements based on tiny paleontological samples, so her Ph.D. made sweeping statements about 12,000 disarticulated vertebrae from Kleinburg, a proto-historic Iroquoian site. Her research since 1984 has focused on Iberia and Algeria. Methodological problems are of major interest to her: comparison of proto- and post-contact sites in Ontario and of sites bracketing the transition to agriculture in central Portugal allow her to test hypotheses on, for example, demographic change and dental pathology. Her recent publications include “The Mid-Seventeenth Century Collapse of Iroquoian Ontario: Examining the Last Great Burial Place of the Neutral Nation” in L. Buchet, C. Rigeade, I. Séguy, M. Signoli (eds.), 9e Journées Anthropologiques de Valbonne, Vers une anthropologie des catastrophes Editions APDCA/INED, Valbonne: CÉPAM, pp. 347–373 (2009); “Teeth and the Past in Portugal: Pathology and the Mesolithic-Neolithic Transition” in T. Koppe, G. Meyer and K. W. Alt (eds.), Comparative Dental Morphology, Frontiers of Oral Biology 13:167–172 (2009).

Judith Littleton received her Ph.D. from the Australian National University in 1993, and she is currently Associate Professor in Biological Anthropology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her main research interests are with biocultural models of morbidity and mortality among skeletal, historic, and contemporary populations particularly exploring the concepts of local biologies and syndemics. Current projects include analysis of human remains from Bahrain and Australia as well as a large interdisciplinary project on tuberculosis among the diverse populations of New Zealand. Recent publications include a co-edited volume with J. Park, A. Herring, and T. Farmer titled Multiplying and Dividing: Tuberculosis in Canada and Aotearoa/New Zealand (RAL-e Auckland: University of Auckland 2008), “From the Perspective of Time: Hunter-Gatherer Burials in Southeastern Australia,” Antiquity (2007), and with J. Park “Tuberculosis and Syndemics: Implications for Pacific Health in New Zealand,” Social Science and Medicine (2009).

Tracy L. Prowse is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her research explores diet and health in past populations using paleopathological and isotopic analyses of human bones and teeth. Her current project is the bioarchaeological investigation of a rural Roman cemetery on an Imperial estate at Vagnari, south Italy. Her interdisciplinary research combines skeletal, isotopic, and archaeological evidence embedded within the historical context of the populations she studies. She has published on paleodiet and migration in Roman Italy in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Charlotte Roberts is a full Professor of Archaeology at Durham University, England. She is a bioarchaeologist of 25 years, with a background in nursing, archaeology, environmental archaeology, and human bioarchaeology. She is specifically interested in the interaction of people with their environments utilizing multiple lines of evidence in the past and exploring patterns of health and disease, especially health problems common today. She utilizes a holistic approach to understanding why and how people and communities today experience health problems, especially infectious diseases, including a consideration of the impact of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, and social, economic and political status on disease occurrence. Her research has so far generated over 150 publications, including papers in a range of journals, book chapters, and authored books: The Archaeology of Disease (2005, with Keith Manchester), Health and Disease in Britain: from Prehistory to the Present Day (2003, with Margaret Cox), The Bioarchaeology of Tuberculosis: A Global View on a Remerging Disease (2003, with Jane Buikstra), Human Remains in Archaeology. A Handbook (2009), and co-edited texts: The Past and Present of Leprosy (2002, with Mary Lewis and Keith Manchester). She currently holds UK research council grants exploring the biomolecular archaeology of tuberculosis, and the skeletons of the people buried in Anglo-Saxon Bamburgh, and is heavily involved in the Global History of Health project based at Ohio State University. She has been elected President for the Paleopatholgoy Association for 2011–2013.

Joanna Sofaer is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Southampton. She has published widely on archaeological theory, osteoarchaeology and European prehistory. She is the author of The Body as Material Culture (2006), editor of Children and Material Culture (2000), Material Identities (2007), and Biographies and Space (with Dana Arnold) (2008).

Nancy Tayles is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. She has worked as a bioarchaeologist in Southeast Asia and the Pacific for over 20 years with a research focus on quality of life of prehistoric people and communities. She is particularly interested in the biological and demographic responses to changes in subsistence, ecological and climatic variation, development of technology, and socio-political variation. She is a member of a multidisciplinary, international project researching the late prehistoric site of Ban Non Wat, Thailand, and has the pleasure of working with a large sample (n = 637) of burials spanning around 2,000 years of occupation at the site, starting with a small farming community through to the end of the prehistoric period. She is also interested in issues of skeletal repatriation. She has published a co-edited book Bioarchaeology in Southeast Asia (with Marc Oxenham) and papers on dental and skeletal paleopathology, repatriation, isotopes and migration and field anthropology.

Bethany L. Turner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Georgia State University. She specializes in multi-isotopic analysis of ancient human skeletal remains in order to assess diet and residential mobility, and their relationships to disease, well-being, and cultural variables such as gender, status, and political economic processes. She has excavated and/or studied Peruvian skeletal populations from Machu Picchu and the Cuzco region since 2004; her current research is based in Cuzco, once the capital of the Inca imperial state. Her recent publications can be found in Journal of Archaeological Science and International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. In addition to her work in Peru, she has also published and presented collaborative isotopic analyses of populations from Christian-era Sudanese Nubia, pre-Mississippian North Florida and Imperial Mongolia.

Estella Weiss-Krejci teaches at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research focuses on mortuary behavior of the ancient Maya, medieval and post-medieval Central Europe and Neolithic and Copper Age Iberia. Additionally, she regularly conducts archaeological fieldwork in Belize where she investigates ancient Maya water storage features. Her research results have been published in archaeological journals such as Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, and Journal of Social Archaeology and in various edited books.

Sonia Zakrzewski is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Southampton, England. She received her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her research interests focus upon the recognition of social identity, migration, mobility, and religion within human osteology, particularly in ancient Egypt and medieval Spain. Her previous research has focused upon the bioarchaeological and osteoarchaeological changes associated with state formation in ancient Egypt, and she is currently writing a monograph that focuses upon Egyptian skeletal identity. Her publications have appeared in the journals American Journal of Physical Anthropology, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, and Journal of Archaeological Science.

Molly K. Zuckerman is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), University of South Carolina. She pursued her undergraduate studies in Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, complemented with a second B.A. in Women’s Studies, and engaged in post-baccalaureate studies at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, where she received training in paleopathology and osteology. Her primary research interests lie in the biosocial determinants of health disparities in the past, with a special focus on the evolution and ecology of infectious disease. Her dissertation research investigates the social and ecological history of syphilis in Early Modern England, and her current research is based in England, but she has also participated in interdisciplinary fieldwork in Kenya, Scotland, and the American West. Her work has been published in several edited volumes and she is also currently engaged in collaborative isotopic and trace element analyses of a sample of Imperial-era Mongolian mummies and of skeletal samples from the English Industrial Revolution.

Series Editors’ Preface


This series was conceived as a collection of books designed to cover central areas of undergraduate archaeological teaching. Each volume in the series, edited by experts in the area, includes newly commissioned articles written by archaeologists actively engaged in research. By commissioning new articles, the series combines one of the best features for readers, the presentation of multiple approaches to archaeology, with the virtues of a text conceived from the beginning as intended for a specific audience. While the model reader for the series is conceived of as an upper-division undergraduate, the inclusion in the volumes of researchers actively engaged in work today will also make these volumes valuable for more advanced researchers who want a rapid introduction to contemporary issues in specific sub-fields of global archaeology.

Each volume in the series will include an extensive introduction by the volume editor that will set the scene in terms of thematic or geographic focus. Individual volumes, and the series as a whole, exemplify a wide range of approaches in contemporary archaeology. The volumes uniformly engage with issues of contemporary interest, interweaving social, political, and ethical themes. We contend that it is no longer tenable to teach the archaeology of vast swaths of the globe without acknowledging the political implications of working in foreign countries and the responsibilities archaeologists incur by writing and presenting other people’s pasts. The volumes in this series will not sacrifice theoretical sophistication for accessibility. We are committed to the idea that usable teaching texts need not lack ambition.

Blackwell Studies in Global Archaeology aims to immerse readers in fundamental archaeological ideas and concepts, but also to illuminate more advanced concepts, exposing readers to some of the most exciting contemporary developments in the field.

Lynn Meskell and Rosemary A. Joyce