Human Remains in Archaeology: A Handbook [Paperback]

Charlotte A. Roberts(Author)

ISBN: 9781909990036 | Published by: Council for British Archaeology | Series: CBA Practical Handbook | Volume: 19 | Year of Publication: 2019 | 2nd | 336p, H9.75 x W7.5, 131 illustrations
Status: In Stock - Available

Human Remains in Archaeology


This revised and updated 2nd edition of Professor Charlotte Robert's best-selling Practical Handbook provides the very latest guidance on all aspects of the recovery, handling and study of human remains. Professon Roberts is one of the UK's leading experts in bioarchaeology, and is internationally renowned in the field.

It begins by asking why we should study human remains, and the ethical issues surrounding their recovery, analysis, curation and display, along with consideration of the current legal requirements for the excavation of such remains in the UK. How people were laid to rest at death is considered, as well as the effect of various factors on their preservation, including the environment. Further chapters give practical advice on the excavation, processing and conservation of human remains, and the recording of data such as age at death, sex, height, and pathological lesions. The author then discusses recent technological advances in the study of human remains, such as stable isotope and ancient DNA analyses.

This book, with its extensive bibliography, is essential and fascinating reading for all practitioners and students of bioarchaeology and burial archaeology and is accessible for anyone with an interest in the study of human remains.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Why Study Human Remains from Archaeological Sites
                1.1 Introduction and Scope
                1.2 Structure of the Book
                1.3 Archaeology, Anthropology and Human Remains
                1.4 Definitions
                1.5 History of Study of Human Remains from Archaeological Sites
                1.6 Skeletal Collections
                1.7 Key Organizations
                1.8 Summary
                1.9 Key Learning Points
Chapter 2: Ethical Concerns and Human Remains
                2.1 Introduction
                2.2 Justification for the Retention of Human Remains
                2.3 Guidance and Legal Requirements: For Archaeologists in the UK
                2.4 Excavation, Analysis, and Curation of Human Remains in the UK
                2.5 Displaying Human Remains and Using them on Television
                2.6 The United States: A Case Study
                2.7 Summary
                2.8 Key Learning Points
Chapter 3: Resting Places for the Dead, and Factors Affecting Preservation of Bodies
                3.1 Introduction
                3.2 Resting Places for the Dead in the UK
                3.3 The Effect of Funerary Context on Study
                3.4 Summary
                3.5 Key Learning Points
                3.6 Preservation
                3.7 The Effect of Preservation on Study
                3.8 Summary
                3.9 Key Learning Points
Chapter 4: Before Analysis: Excavation, Processing, Conservation and Curation
                4.1 Introduction
                4.2 Excavation of Human Remains
                4.3 Processing of Human Remains Once Excavated
                4.4 Conservation of Human Remains
                4.5 Storage and Curation of Human Remains
                4.6 Summary
                4.7 Key Learning Points
Chapter 5: Recording and Analysis of Data I: Basic but Important Information
                5.1 Introduction
                5.2 Working in a Laboratory Environment
                5.3 The Skeletal Structure and Its Function
                5.4 Starting to Analyze a Skelton: Identification of Human Bones and Teeth
                5.5 Sex Estimation
                5.6 Age at Death Assessment
                5.7 Reconstructing a Palaeodemographic Profile for the Cemetery Sample
                5.8 Normal Variation within and between Human Populations
                5.9 Analyzing and Interpreting Data Within an Archaeological Report
                5.10 Summary
                5.11 Key Learning Points
Chapter 6: Recording and Analysis of Data II: Palaeopathology
                6.1 Introduction
                6.2 Sources of Evidence for Disease in the Past
                6.3 How do we Study Disease in Skeletal Remains?
                6.4 Themes in Palaeopathology
                6.5 Summary
                6.6 Key Learning Points
Chapter 7: Recording and Analysis of Data III: The ‘Hard Sciences’
                7.1 Introduction
                7.2 Histology
                7.3 Radiography
                7.4 Biomolecular Analysis
                7.5 Dating Human Remains
                7.6 Summary
                7.7 Key Learning Points
Chapter 8: The Future for the Study of Human Remains in Archaeology
                8.1 Introduction
                8.2 The Resource
                8.3 Recording and Analysis
                8.4 Education and Research Agendas
                8.5 Higher Education and Career Opportunities


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