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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John Odin Jensen is with the Sea Education Association at Woods Hole, and is also associated with the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Rhode Island, and the Frank C. Munson Institute... Read More

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