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Social Bioarchaeology

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9187-6
472 pages
February 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Social Bioarchaeology (1405191872) cover image


  • Illustrates new methodological directions in analyzing human social and biological variation
  • Offers a wide array of research on past populations around the globe
  • Explains the central features of bioarchaeological research by key researchers and established experts around the world
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures.

Notes on Contributors.

Series Editors' Preface.

1 Building a Social Bioarchaeology (Sabrina C. Agarwal and Bonnie A. Glencross).

Part I Materials and Meaning: The Nature of Skeletal Samples.

2 The Origins of Biocultural Dimensions in Bioarchaeology (Molly K. Zuckerman and George J. Armelagos).

3 Partnerships, Pitfalls, and Ethical Concerns in International Bioarchaeology (Bethany L. Turner and Valerie A. Andrushko).

4 The Formation of Mortuary Deposits: Implications for Understanding Mortuary Behavior of Past Populations (Estella Weiss-Krejci).

5 Representativeness and Bias in Archaeological Skeletal Samples (Mary Jackes).

Part II Social Identity: Bioarchaeology of Sex, Gender, Ethnicity, and Disability.

6 Sex and Gender in Bioarchaeological Research: Theory, Method, and Interpretation (Sandra E. Hollimon).

7 Population Migration, Variation, and Identity: An Islamic Population in Iberia (Sonia Zakrzewski).

8 Life Histories of Enslaved Africans in Colonial New York: A Bioarchaeological Study of the New York African Burial Ground (Autumn R. Barrett and Michael L. Blakey).

9 The Bioarchaeology of Leprosy and Tuberculosis: A Comparative Study of Perceptions, Stigma, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Charlotte Roberts).

Part III Growth and Aging: The Life Course of Health and Disease.

10 Towards a Social Bioarchaeology of Age (Joanna Sofaer).

11 It is Not Carved in Bone: Development and Plasticity of the Aged Skeleton (Sabrina C. Agarwal and Patrick Beauchesne).

12 The Bioarchaeological Investigation of Children and Childhood (Siân E. Halcrow and Nancy Tayles).

13 Moving from the Canary in the Coalmine: Modeling Childhood in Bahrain (Judith Littleton).

14 Skeletal Injury Across the Life Course: Towards Understanding Social Agency (Bonnie A. Glencross).

15 Diet and Dental Health through the Life Course in Roman Italy (Tracy L. Prowse).


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Author Information

Sabrina C. Agarwal is an Assistant Professor at the University of California at Berkley and Faculty Affiliate of the Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley.  She is co-editor of the volume Bone Loss and Osteoporosis: An Anthropological Perspective (2003).

Bonnie Glencross is Assistant Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, at Wilfrid Laurier University, and held a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California from 2006-2008.

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Furthermore, despite the technical nature of many of the contributions, the overall concepts are generally presented in an organized and clear format that would not at all preclude their use in advanced undergraduate seminars.”  (American Journal Physical Anthropology, 14 March 2014)

"In the first instance the book is dedicated to scientists and students of Archaeology, biological Anthropology, and Palaeopathology as well as to other scientists interested in social and biological variations of man by permanent changes of the environment." (HOMO Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 2011)

"Social Bioarchaeology makes an excellent reference for this subfield, and stresses the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach at a time perhaps when anthropology needs it most." (Social Bioarchaeology, 12 April 2011)

"Social Bioarchaeology puts the spotlight on the powerful and interesting story that human remains from archaeological settings tell about the human experience."
Clark Spencer Larsen, The Ohio State University

"Decidedly embracing the concept of "holism" within anthropology, the contributors to this book dive deep into the human past and the intricacies of the human condition."
Anne Grauer, Loyola University of Chicago

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