DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.10.13711

A particular heritage: The importance of identified osteological collections


Abstract


One of the main pillars of bioanthropological studies are identified osteological collections. The goal of this article is to describe this heritage and show its importance. Since the nineteenth century, several countries have collected sets of skulls and skeletons from people for whom we have some biographical data; among other details, their age and sex at death. There are currently around fifty collections in different countries in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Their research has applications in the study of human evolution, past populations, palaeopathology, and the history of medicine, among others. The need to increase the number of individuals and extend the geographic distribution of such samples has led to the continuous development of these collections. 


Keywords


physical and biological anthropology; forensic anthropology; skeletal biology; palaeopathology; history of medicine

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alemán, I., Irurita, J., Valencia, A. R., Martínez, A., López-Lázaro, S., Viciano, J., & Botella, M. C. (2012). Brief communication: The Granada osteological collection of identified infants and young children. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 149(4), 606–610. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22165 

Ardagna, Y., Bizot, B., Boëtsch, G., & Delestre, X. (Eds.). (2006). Les collections ostéologiques humaines: Gestion, valorisation et perspectives. Bulletin Archéologique de Provence, Supplément 4. Aix-en-Provence: Association Provence Archéologie. 

Cattaneo, C. (2007). Forensic anthropology: Developments of a classical discipline in the new millennium. Forensic Science International, 165(2-3), 185–193. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.05.018 

Chi-Keb, J. R., Albertos-González, V. M., Ortega-Muñoz, A., & Tiesler, V. G. (2013). A new reference collection of documented human skeletons from Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico. HOMO-Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 64(5), 366–376. doi: 10.1016/j.jchb.2013.05.002 

Del Río Muñoz, P. A. (2000). Estudio antropológico-forense, antropométrico y morfológico, de la colección de la Escuela de Medicina Legal de Madrid. Madrid: Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. 

Fazekas, I. G., & Kósa, F. (1978). Fetal forensic osteology. Budapest: Akademiai Kiado. 

Gresky, J., Haelm, J., & Clare, L. (2017). Modified human crania from Göbekli Tepe provide evidence for a new form of Neolithic skull cult. Science Advances, 3(6), e1700564. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1700564 

Henderson, C. Y., & Alves-Cardoso, F. (2018) Identified skeletal collections: Testing ground of anthropology. Oxford: Archaeopress. 

Molleson, T. I., Cox, M. J., Waldron, A., & Whittaker, D. K. (1993). The Spitalfields project: The middling sort. Volume 2. The anthropology. London: Council for British Archaeology. 

Perréard-Lopreno, G. (2006). Les collections ostéologiques humaines du Départment d’Anthropologie et d’Écologie de l’Université de Genève. In Y. Ardagna, B. Bizot, G. Boëtsch, & X. Deslestre, Les collections ostéologiques humaines: Gestion, valorisation et perspectives (pp. 25–90). Bulletin Archéologique de Provence, Supplément 4. Aix-en-Provence: Association Provence Archéologie. 

Quigley, C. (2001). Skulls and skeletons: Human bone collections and accumulations. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company. 

Rissech, C., & Steadman, D. W. (2011). The demographic, socio-economic and temporal contextualisation of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona collection of identified human skeletons (UAB collection). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 21(3), 313–322. doi: 10.1002/oa.1145 

Santos, A. L. (2018). Skulls and skeletons from documented, overseas and archaeological excavations: Portuguese trajectories. In B. O’Donnabhain, & M. Lozada (Eds.), Archaeological Human Remains (pp. 111–125). Cham: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-89984-8_8 

Santos, A. L., & Suby, J. A. (2012). Tuberculosis en retrospectiva: Revisión de los conocimientos actuales y su aplicación en el estudio de restos humanos. Cuadernos de Prehistoria y Arqueología de la Universidad de Granada, 22, 127–148. 

Spencer, F. (Ed.). (1997). History of physical anthropology: An encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing. 

Spradley, M. K., Jantz, R. L., Robinson, A., & Peccerelli, F. (2008). Demographic change and forensic identification: Problems in metric identification of Hispanic skeletons. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 53(1), 21–28. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2007.00614.x 

Ubelaker, D. H. (2014). Osteology reference collections. In C. Smith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (pp. 5632–5641). New York: Springer-Verlag. 


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Creative Commons License
Texts in the journal are –unless otherwise indicated– published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________