| Field Work in Bioanthropology
B405 | 0444 | Cook
This course consists of laboratory and field work related to the
study of prehistoric human skeletal biology. You will have an
opportunity to practice skills learned in B301, as well as to learn
new skills appropriate to your interests. The course will have two
phases. While we are in Bloomington, we will review human
osteology and aspects of faunal osteology relevant to the
identification problems we will encounter in the field. Each
student will inventory two burials from Chau Hiix or another site
related to his or her individual research project in the lab in
order to practice the fundamental skills of the bone specialist in
anthropology: identifying fragments, determining age and sex, and
describing morphology and pathology. We will do a number of
curatorial tasks, including cleaning, sorting, labeling and making
catalog entries. Readings and lecture in this segment of the
course will explore the physical anthropology and mortuary site
archaeology of Mesoamerica. Short essays on readings will be
required. The summary exercise for the first phase of the course
will be a book review of Tropical Nature.
For students who are participating in the field school at Chau
Hiix, the second phase of the course will consist of burial
excavation, documentation, and field curation at Chau Hiix.
Techniques that aim at optimal recovery of bone and at observation
of aspects of the archaeological important in the reconstruction of
mortuary practices will be stressed. Each student will prepare a
short descriptive report on the burials he or she excavates.
For students who are not enrolled in the field school, the second
half of the course will be devoted to a research paper on a topic
in physical anthropology.
GRADES: Lab participation and quizzes: 20%
Review of TROPICAL NATURE due March 1: 40%
Field write up or final paper due by May 7: 40%