One of the things I’ve learned over the course of a number of field and lab projects is how useful it is to have templates and advice before embarking on data collection. In my hours of need I’ve been able to reach out to top notch bioarchaeologists like Anna Waterman and Anna Osterholtz*, but I’ve also figured a lot of things out through arduous trial and error. To spare you the same profanity-laden fate, this is an archive of all of my tips, tricks and templates for amassing and wrangling bioarchaeological data. If you’re about to embark on your first (or second, or third, or fifteenth) round of data collection and have specific questions or feel like talking out strategies, post a comment below or shoot me an email at

*I’m beginning to sense a trend when it comes to the names of top notch women bioarchaeologists.

Equipment for Bioarchaeology Data Collection: Heading out to the field and not sure what to bring with you? I’ve got you covered – everything from toothbrushes to calipers.

Strategies for organizing and photographing loose human teeth: If you’re faced with thousands of  loose human teeth, you need to start with a clear strategy. This covers everything from sorting to storage to numbering.

Strategies for organizing and photographing articulated teeth: Articulated teeth are also tricky. Here are some tips.

Dental Data Collection Spreadsheets: Templates for Excel spreadsheets for collecting data on loose and articulated adult and subadult dentition. Also comes with an explanatory pdf detailing column headers and references used.

Dealing with Fragments: Comes with printable fragment size sorting circles!

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