Bioarchaeology, a highly contextualized study of human remains embedded in their cultural and natural settings, is a multidisciplinary study of past human biological variation that draws upon allied fields in the natural, social, and medical sciences, as well as the humanities. This chapter focuses on how human remains enhance their knowledge about the lives of past people, and hence provides a deep temporal context for a better understanding of the world as it exists today. Bioarchaeologists direct most of their attention to human remains from the Holocene. Case reports of single, or perhaps a few, skeletons have always been an important part of bioarchaeology. This is especially true of paleopathology, where the identification of specific diseases, such as tuberculosis, has long been of interest. Patterning in age-at-death in large and well-characterized skeletal samples provides perspectives on population structure and change that cannot be obtained from other sources.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Social Sciences