History Written in Skeletons: Intersections of History, Archaeology, and Biology

Sunday, 15 February 2015: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room LL21E (San Jose Convention Center)
Historians and archaeologists have recently begun to collaborate in discovering and developing new ways of looking at the historical past. New explorations of human skeletal evidence have led to some surprising discoveries that have upended long-held beliefs and paradigms. Using modern biological techniques such as DNA analysis and stable isotopes as well as close analysis of physical evidence, this work has revealed new evidence that continues to change established ideas about human history. This symposium offers case studies from a historian, bioarchaeologist, and biological anthropologist on the varieties of new interpretations and approaches now available. New analysis of early medieval skeletons leads to questions about ethnicity and identity in post-Roman Britain. The “thousand-year graveyard” in Italy offers long-term evidence of lifestyles and diseases. New excavations of hospitals and workhouses in the United Kingdom reveal practices of dissection and autopsy over the past four centuries. Cross-disciplinary research reveals new historical data and new methods of historical and archaeological interpretation.
Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University
Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University
Clark Spencer Larsen, Ohio State University; Giuseppe Vercellotti, Ohio State University; Gino Fornaciari, University of Pisa
Bioarchaeology of Life and Death in Tuscany, Italy, AD 900–1900
Jenna M. Dittmar, University of Cambridge; Piers D. Mitchell, University of Cambridge
Archaeological Evidence for the Study of Anatomy in Britain from 1600s to 1900s
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