Using bones, teeth and joints for reconstructing activity in past human populations

Using bones, teeth and joints for reconstructing activity in past human populations

Length: 2425 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

During an individual’s lifetime the activities they involve themselves in impact on their many bodily tissues. Markers for these activities are left in the bones, joints and dentition which is useful for anthropologists as only skeletal material is left in the case of most ancient populations. Subsequently much research has been undertaken in this area with varying levels of validity.In this essay I seek to explain what information can be reliably gathered from skeletal material, it will focus on bone density and muscle attachments associated with heavy workloads, joint wear caused by repeated processes such as grinding grain, osteoarthritis and tooth wear associated with tool use. To aid this discussion I will detail the activity changes involved in the transition between a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and a sedentary agricultural lifestyle. I will also consider the strengths and weaknesses of this type of
reconstructory speculation, arguing that unless the aforementioned markers are
assessed in a non-subjective, quantifiable way the findings are not comparable to others displaying similar markers.



It has been well documented that according to Wolff’s law, bone is constantly
remodeling. Wolff's law states that bones within an animal will remodel due to the stress it is placed under. If stress on particular bones increase, bones will remodel over time becoming stronger, laying down bone tissue with higher levels of mineralisation. The opposite of this is also true, if the stress on a bone decreases, the bone will become weaker (Wolff, 1986). This correlates with the findings of Stock who reasons that ‘human skeletal robusticity is influenced by many factors, habitual
behaviour being the most important’ (Stock, 2006). ...


... middle of paper ...


...n the Georgia Coast. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 64,125-136.

Shackelford L.L., 2007. Regional Variation in the Postcranial Robusticity of Late Upper Paleolithic Humans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133, 655–668

Stock T. J., 2006. Hunter-Gatherer Postcranial Robusticity Relative to
Patterns of Mobility, Climatic Adaptation, and Selection for Tissue Economy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131, 194-204.

Teaford M., 2005. Dental Microwear and Dental Function Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 3, 17 - 30

Valdes A.M., Spector T.D., 2008. The contribution of genes to osteoarthritis. Rheumatic Diease Clininics of North America 34, 581–603.

White T., 2000. Human Osteology. Academic Press, London.


Wolff J., 1986 The Law of Bone Remodeling. Springer, New York (translation of the German 1892 edition)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Bones : Bones Associated With Diabetes

- The Avengers Bones Associated With Diabetes (Parajuli. 2015. Bones response to mechanical loading are impaired in type 1 diabetes.) Diabetes affects multiple organs, for example, the heart, kidneys, and eyes. There is one organ system that is not usually mentioned and that is the skeleton. Diabetes patients in clinical trials have shown to have an elevated risk of fracture, including fractures that can be life threatening. This affects a huge age range between 45 and 64. The impact that diabetes has on the bones, has not been as recognized, as the affects that is has on the other organs of the body....   [tags: Blood sugar, Diabetes mellitus, Hyperglycemia]

Term Papers
1436 words (4.1 pages)

The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold Skips Essay

- Introduction The Lovely Bones begins with the protagonist, Susie Salmon detailing the day that her neighbour, George Harvey, lured her to an underground room that he had built. With a brief introduction, Alice Sebold skips right into the savage killing of the main character and allows her to narrate her own story from a first-person, omniscient point of view. George Harvey, a man that possessed a sort of one-dimensional kindness, raped and killed her with little to no mercy. Her death was unavoidable, and she knew that herself – Susie had followed every single command from her killer, knowing that the end was near....   [tags: The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold, Peter Jackson]

Term Papers
1250 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold

- There are multiple reasons why a book can be banned or challenged. Book banning causes the removal of materials in schools and libraries due to “inappropriate” content. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, was banned due to sexual content and language. In 1982 was when Banned Books Week was introduced to the world (ASJA, 1). “Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read”. In the United States, the First Amendment protects American citizens from being denied the right to read any book they desire (Banned Books, 1)....   [tags: The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold]

Term Papers
2019 words (5.8 pages)

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold Essay

- Role Mother. Role model. Motherhood. The death of a loved one can result in a trauma where the painful experience causes a psychological scar. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones explores the different ways in which people process grief when they lose a loved one. When young Susie Salmon is killed on her way home from school, the remaining four members of her family all deal differently with their grief. After Susie’s death, her mother, Abigail Salmon, endures the adversity of losing her daughter, her family collapsing, and accepting the loss of the life she never had the opportunity to live....   [tags: Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones]

Term Papers
1271 words (3.6 pages)

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold Essay

- Visualize a world where a significant person in your life died from one’s gruesome desire, where that special someone suffered and became a victim of a cruel, mysterious murder. Was the murder itself quick or was it revolting and brutal. Susie Salmon was a victim of a crime that should not be forgiven. In the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Susie’s past on earth affected people that took part in her life because the past was all that they had of her. Memories of or with Susie were treasured; however, they were also feared by the one who killed Susie’s future....   [tags: The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold]

Term Papers
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Lovely Bones By Susie Salmon

- First of all, ‘The Lovely Bones’ is about a girl named Susie Salmon and tells a story of how she died and how people get along together and live without her. She was a normal fourteen-year-old girl when she was murdered in the novel 's opening pages. She narrates the rest of her story from heaven, often returning to Earth to watch over her loved ones; mostly family, some friends and Mr. Harvey and the other people he kills. ‘Lovely Bones’ is represents Susie’s body the connection of heaven to earth, earth to heaven....   [tags: The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold, Murder]

Term Papers
1406 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold

- Alice Sebold is an American author best known for her book, The Lovely Bones. She was born on September 6th, 1963, in Madison, Wisconsin. Sebold had a rough early life. Jane, Sebold’s mother was an alcoholic who suffered from panic and anxiety attacks regularly, which often left Sebold, and her sister Mary, on their own to fend for themselves. Sebold’s father was a little more on the sensible side, he tried to ease some of the dysfunction in their family by moving to Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, Sebold tried to separate herself from her family, so she began to attend college in upstate New York....   [tags: The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold, Novel]

Term Papers
1000 words (2.9 pages)

Thirteen Reasons Why and The Lovely Bones Essay

- When two teenage girls die, many lives are affected as time passes. This is the case with Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones’ protagonist, Susie salmon and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why’s protagonist, Hannah Baker. Both of them die at a young age, and the lives of the people they were close to change forever. The two novels can be seen and compared through the psychoanalytic lens by looking at the behaviours of people that were close to Susie and Hannah after the deaths of the two girls. Psychoanalytic theorists have expanded on Sigmund Freud’s work and believe that human behavior is deterministic, that people’s behaviours are based on their past experiences (Rubin)....   [tags: alice sebold, the lovely bones]

Term Papers
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Massacre in Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones Essay

- Massacre in Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones The massacre that Edwidge Danticat describes in The Farming of Bones is a historical event. In 1937, the Dominican Republic’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo, ordered the slaughter of Haitians on the border of the two countries. Twelve thousand Haitians died during the massacre (Roorda 301). The Massacre River, which forms the northern portion of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, was named for a separate massacre in the nineteenth-century of French soldiers by revolting native slaves....   [tags: Edwidge Danticat Farming Bones Essays]

Term Papers
1774 words (5.1 pages)

The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat Essay

- The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat Talking about the culture brought throughout this book, your looking at a Latin American culture, specifically the Dominican/Haitian cultures. As I read this book, beyond the many numerous ways she worded her sentences and how the characters spoke, they often spoke with a definant difference than you would hear here in common U.S. language. They would constantly use inferences to what they were talking about rather than being direct to what they were saying....   [tags: Danticat Farming Bones]

Free Essays
1675 words (4.8 pages)