Category Archives: Bioarchaeology Vocab

Standard Anatomical Position

Bioarchaeological labs can be confusing places. Witness the following interaction, which takes place at least once a season: Bioarch 1: “This fragment’s a humerus, right?” Bioarch 2: [Examines bone] “No, it’s a left.” Bioarch 1: “But it’s humerus?” Bioarch 2: … Continue reading

Posted in Anatomy, Bioarchaeology Vocab | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Wolff’s Law

Ever heard the expression “use it or lose it”? That pithy phrase encapsulates Wolff’s law, an anatomical rule that describes how bone grows and changes over time. The law was developed by German surgeon Julius Wolff, whose name you will now always remember … Continue reading

Posted in Bioarchaeology, Bioarchaeology Vocab, Osteology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Calculus

In July I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed, which I bore with about as much stoicism as could be expected: After the first terrible week of scrambled eggs, applesauce, and facial bruising, I regained some of my … Continue reading

Posted in Bioarchaeology Vocab, Teeth | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Isotopes

In essence, isotopes are different varieties of the same kind of element. Their atoms have the same number of protons but variable numbers of neutrons, meaning that they differ from each other in terms of their atomic weight. For example, carbon-12, … Continue reading

Posted in Bioarchaeology, Bioarchaeology Vocab | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Abduction and Adduction

I always have a great time when I teach the anatomical terminology of  movement because students find it so easy to engage with the material. In my Science of Skeletons class I began experimenting with a charades-style activity that required … Continue reading

Posted in Anatomy, Bioarchaeology Vocab | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Supination

I recently started teaching my first self-designed course at the University of Michigan, an intro to bioarchaeology class titled The Science of Skeletons. We had our first meeting last Thursday, and in addition to demonstrating the appropriate way to handle human … Continue reading

Posted in Anatomy, Bioarchaeology Vocab, Osteology | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Splanchnocranium

I’ve been reading a lot of research on the bioarchaeology of violence of late, thought-provoking  pieces by Haagen Klaus, Deb Martin and Gwen Robbins Schug that detail the ways in which the ideology of oppression is mediated by violence. In theory, this … Continue reading

Posted in Anatomy, Bioarchaeology Vocab, Osteology | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment