Skeleton of a mother-to-be (between 18 and 25) and her baby (about 22 weeks). The pregnant woman’s hip size suggests that the twenty-two-week-old fetus was probably her first child. She most likely died from an infection. Photo via Time
Her hip size? I don’t think so if you mean the literal size of the ilium. Maybe you can tell she was pregnant by the state of specific areas of the hip—grooving on the preauricular sulcus, pubic tubercle extension and pitting on the dorsal edge of the pubis but these are not 100 per cent diagnostic features. Also, it has been suggested (in re. to age estimates) that sexual dimorphism in pubic morphology results from sex specific trends in aging more so than pregnancy and childbirth.
- Cox, M. 2000. “Assessment of parturition,” in Cox and Mays (eds.), Human Osteology in Archaeology and Forensic Science. Greenwich Medical Media.
- Hoppa RD. 2000. “Population variation in osteological aging criteria: an example from the pubic symphysis,” AJPA 111:185-191.
Excellent, I was just about to make a similar post.
EXACTLY. Many so-called ‘classic scars of parturition’ are also found in men, and none are conclusively diagnostic.
accept death. befriend death. take death out for dinner. marry death. marry a death who reads
First post on tumblr. It has to be hip. it has to be humerus.
Friend: My mom is a fan of your tumblr lol we died over the crystal skull vodka face!!
Me: Are you serious? Hahaha!
Friend: Haha I always go through your posts with her. My mom loves archaeology.
Me: I plan on trying to convince my supervisors to let me put it (Crystal Head Vodka Skull) into the forensic FORDISC program to see what race/ethnicity it spews out.
Friend: THATS A GREAT IDEA. DO IT
1) This made my day.
2) I think I need to make this happen. Cross your fingers my supervisors let me do it!
FORDISC: FORDISC 3.0 is an interactive computer program, running under Windows, for classifying adults by ancestry and sex using any combination of standard measurements. New features of FORDISC 3.0 are: larger number of variables, including postcranial variables; larger numbers of groups, including Howells’ world wide cranial data; improved pictorial guide to measurements, and improved file management and printer control. http://fac.utk.edu/fordisc.html
Using ForDisc, a decedent’s biological profile can be created based on measurements from various areas of bones, along with information about the person’s age, height, race, and illnesses. ForDisc uses standard anthropometric measurements including maximum length, maximum breadth, bi-zygomatic breadth, orbital breadth and height, maximum alveolar breadth and width, minimum frontal breadth, basion-bregma, basion-prosthion, cranial base length, bi-auricular breadth, upper facial height and breadth, foramen magnum breadth and length, frontal chord, parietal chord, occipital chord, nasal height and breadth, bi-orbital breadth, interorbital breadth, and mastoid length. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FORDISC
I love stuff like this because as useful a tool as FORDISC can be, it’s super-important when using it to take it in its full social context and to emphasize how the program is just as subject to human foibles and misuses as any other program and not to just blindly accept whatever results it spits out.
See also: the time they asked FORDISC to assign a likely racial identity to a soccer ball and it happily complied.
Freid DL, Jantz RL, Ousley SD (2005) The truth is out there: how NOT to use FORDISC. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists,Milwaukee, WI April 6
The 8 White Identities, by Barnor Hesse. Breaking down the white gaze.
1 month ago on February 06, 2014 at 02:30pm with 18,095 notes
If you’re a physical anthropologist and you’ve never thought the axis looks like a little businessman looking at you over stapled fingers I choose to disbelieve you
Post-Mortal Embraces in Siberia
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about love recently- primarily because I recently became engaged, but also because I’ve been seeing increasingly more images of skeletons in an embrace. An recent article from the Siberian Times reported on the finding of hundreds of tombs from a Staryi Tartas village, in the Novosibirsk region of Russia. Within these, dozens of individual skeletons were found holding one another in embrace. Some had the hands interlocked, some are facing each other in a type of hug, some are spooning one another, and many are curled up facing each other. It isn’t just individuals buried with children, it is adults together, or children together, or a combination of these groups.
The burials date to the Bronze Age, about 3,500 years ago, and are attributed to the Andronovo culture, a migrant group the moved into Siberia from the Middle East. This group is most often recognized for their advances in metallurgy, and can be recognized by their distinctive crouched inhumation burials. They bred cattle, were innovative with their use of carts and chariots drawn by horses, and lived in small village like communities of 10-20 sunken log houses. Their graves were richly furnished with pottery vessels, bronze ornaments, bronze daggers, gaming pieces such as horse phalanges and sheep astragals, and bone arrowheads. Burials were also found with large ritual pits containing faunal bones, and other bone and bronze artifacts. There is still much to be learned about this group, and further investigation of the burials is a good place to begin learning about their health, social organization, and lifestyle.
I don’t know what I love more, the beautiful excavation and preservation, the fantastic illustration of biological variation (assuming that the article’s caption for this photo identifying the individual on the left as an adult is correct; the image isn’t high-res enough for me to get a good look at degree of fusion at all the relevant growth plates and distinguish it from postmortem damate), or the acknowledgement at the end of the article that the proposed interpretation of women being killed upon the death of their husbands is an inherently male-centered analysis.
A little Tuesday humor from the Archaeology News Facebook page.