Instructor: Matthew Velasco
Bioarchaeology is the study of human remains from archaeological sites. Like forensic scientists at the scene of the crime, bioarchaeologists search for clues embedded in human bone and mummified tissues to reconstruct how ancient peoples lived and died. As a dynamic living system, the human skeleton responds not only to hormones that govern human development but also to physiological stress brought on by disease, malnutrition, and trauma. The human body is also an artifact molded by cultural understandings of gender, prestige, self-expression, and violence. In this course, students will learn the scientific techniques for estimating skeletal age and sex, diagnosing pathology, and reconstructing diet and migration patterns. This course emphasizes the critical integration of biological and cultural evidence for understanding past individuals and societies.