Abstract: Bioarchaeology: What the Dead Can Tell the Living

Lecturer: Tracy K. Betsinger

Bioarchaeology is a specialized field that studies human skeletal remains from archaeological settings. Bioarchaeologists are able to assess a variety of aspects of health and lifestyle, including evidence of physiological stress, dietary variation, malnutrition, infectious disease, activity patterns, and traumatic injuries. Bioarchaeologists assess data on a population-level to identify differences in health based on gender and status as well as temporal and geographic trends and shifts. The field of bioarchaeology is biocultural in nature, as archaeological insights into past cultures enables researchers to interpret their biological findings. Until recently, the value of human skeletal remains was underappreciated. New advances in both the theoretical and technological areas have led to a great increase in research and study of skeletons.

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Richard Talbert is the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Professor with the History Department of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He studied Classics at Cambridge University before... Read More

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