Speaker for the Dead

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I'm an MA student who studies bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology.
This blog generally has anthropology related posts, leaning towards the physical, with some added quirkiness reflecting my personality.
If you have an anthro blog and want me to follow you back, just message me!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I’ll be MIA for the next few days because I’m at this conference

Above are some of the symposiums I am looking forward to tomorrow morning before I die during my presentation in the afternoon. 

If you aren’t able to attend then take advantage of casethejointfirst's kind offer to take pictures of posters that peak your interests! 

SAA 2014-Photo Offer

Skeletons found in Suffolk water pipe dig

archaeologicalnews:

image

Nine human skeletons have been found by archaeologists excavating land to be used for a water pipeline in Suffolk.

Eight of them, found together near Barnham, are believed to date back to about AD300. Two of the bodies had been buried with a brooch and a knife.

The other skeleton was discovered at Rougham.

Anglian Water, which is installing a new pipeline to serve Bury St Edmunds, said items from the dig would be “kept in a secure museum archive”.

The dig took five months and also unearthed evidence of Anglo Saxon “grub huts” from the 6th Century, near Barnham. Read more.

theolduvaigorge:

Ontogenetic Scaling of the Human Nose in a Longitudinal Sample: Implications for Genus Homo Facial Evolution

  • by Nathan E. Holton, Todd R. Yokley,Andrew W. Froehle and Thomas E. Southard

Researchers have hypothesized that nasal morphology, both in archaic Homo and in recent humans, is influenced by body mass and associated oxygen consumption demands required for tissue maintenance. Similarly, recent studies of the adult human nasal region have documented key differences in nasal form between males and females that are potentially linked to sexual dimorphism in body size, composition, and energetics. To better understand this potential developmental and functional dynamic, we first assessed sexual dimorphism in the nasal cavity in recent humans to determine when during ontogeny male-female differences in nasal cavity size appear. Next, we assessed whether there are significant differences in nasal/body size scaling relationships in males and females during ontogeny. Using a mixed longitudinal sample we collected cephalometric and anthropometric measurements from n=20 males and n18 females from 3.0 to 20.0years of age totaling n=290 observations. We found that males and females exhibit similar nasal size values early in ontogeny and that sexual dimorphism in nasal size appears during adolescence. Moreover, when scaled to body size, males exhibit greater positive allometry in nasal size compared to females. This differs from patterns of sexual dimorphism in overall facial size, which are already present in our earliest age groups. Sexually dimorphic differences in nasal development and scaling mirror patterns of ontogenetic variation in variables associated with oxygen consumption and tissue maintenance. This underscores the importance of considering broader systemic factors in craniofacial development and may have important implications for the study of patters craniofacial evolution in the genus Homo" (read more/open access).

(Open access source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology 153:52-60, 2014)

pbstv:

Meet Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old ancestor of ours. Though she looks like an ape, her knees were close together, just like a human’s! That positioned her feet directly under her body and made walking easier. 
See the final installment of Your Inner Fish tomorrow night (4/23) on PBS at 10/9c.

pbstv:

Meet Lucy, a 3.2 million-year-old ancestor of ours. Though she looks like an ape, her knees were close together, just like a human’s! That positioned her feet directly under her body and made walking easier. 

See the final installment of Your Inner Fish tomorrow night (4/23) on PBS at 10/9c.

dead-men-talking:

American alligator proximal pedal phalanges resemble human finger bones: diagnostic criteria for forensic investigators

Authors: Joseph V. Ferraro and Katie M. Binetti

Forensic Science International, 2014

A scientific approach to bone and tooth identification requires analysts to pursue the goal of empirical falsification. That is, they may attribute a questioned specimen to element and taxon only after having ruled out all other possible attributions. This requires analysts to possess a thorough understanding of both human and nonhuman osteology, particularly so for remains that may be morphologically similar across taxa. To date, forensic anthropologists have identified several potential ‘mimics’ for human skeletal remains, including pig teeth and bear paws. Here we document another possible mimic for isolated human skeletal elements – the proximal pedal phalanges of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) closely resemble the proximal and intermediate hand phalanges of adult humans. We detail morphological similarities and differences between these elements, with the goal of providing sufficient information for investigators to confidently falsify the hypothesis that a questioned phalanx is derived from an American alligator.

(Source: ac.els-cdn.com, via osteologika)

atlasobscura:

Morbid Monday: Resurrection Through Decomposition 

For some cultures, death is the beginning of a purification process that starts with decomposition and ends with skeletonization. These people believe that when a loved one takes his or her final breath, it is the beginning of a journey to the land of the ancestors, and the corpse must completely decay before a soul is considered purified and can ascend to the afterlife.

There are typically two burial phases in some of these societies: initial and secondary burial. During the first, or initial, burial, the body may be buried or exposed while it decays, and the funeral ceremony during this phase marks the beginning of the soul’s journey. Once the remains are completely skeletonized, the bones are collected, cleaned, and placed in a secondary burial, like an ossuary. At this point the deceased is considered truly dead and the soul is resurrected to join the rest of their ancestors in the Land of the Dead.

Secondary burials have been practiced by many cultures throughout history into the modern era. Below is a discussion of burials customs of Jews of the early Roman Empire; burial customs of Southern Italy that were practiced until the early 20th century; and the Malagasy famadihana, or turning of the bones, which is practiced today.

The Jews of the early Roman Empire practiced a burial custom called ossilegium between 30 BCE and 70 CE. Ossilegium, a Latin word that means the collection of the bones, was a two-part process.

Keep reading for the full rundown of resurrection through decomposition, on Atlas Obscura!

(via dead-men-talking)

Alaska becomes the second state to officially recognize indigenous languages

oosik:

“Our language is everything. It’s the air we breathe. It’s the blood that flows through our veins,” said Lance Twitchell, a professor of Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast

HB 216 would add the state’s indigenous languages to a statute created by a 1998 voter initiative, which made English the official language of Alaska. While the bill is largely symbolic, Twitchell said it’s important to recognize all languages as equal.

“That’s all we want is equal value,” he said. “And there’s nothing wrong with standing up and saying that. It takes a lot of courage to do that. And it takes a lot of something else to try and go against that.”

Many elders who attended the sit-in recalled being punished as children for speaking their first languages. Irene Cadiente of Juneau said her teachers would hit her with a ruler when they caught her speaking Tlingit.

Patterson Park dig uncovering traces of War of 1812 militia camp, defenses

archaeologicalnews:

image

When Samuel Smith, major general of the Maryland militia, needed a headquarters to plot Baltimore’s defense from British invaders in the summer of 1814, archaeologists believe he called on the owner of a shop that gives Butcher’s Hill its name.

Jacob Laudenslager leased much of what is Patterson Park today from landowner William Patterson, including a butcher’s shop steps from where the park’s iconic pagoda sits today.

Archaeologists have uncovered a wall of that structure as they embark on a dig for a better understanding of what happened when thousands of militiamen camped along the hills of southeast Baltimore during the War of 1812. Read more.

Long before the Fox network brought TV viewers a crime-fighting Ph.D. who can tell what happened to a victim based on his bones, Kristen Hartnett knew that’s what she wanted to do for a living. She earned her Ph.D. from ASU in 2007 and became a forensic anthropologist, the job she now holds at New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner’s office.

Forensic anthropologists identify victims from skeletal remains and try to figure how their lives ended. Hartnett started her college career studying archaeology, but switched to forensic anthropology when she realized the field could satisfy her interests while making a difference for people in grief.

“I’d been doing archaeology and looking at bones, but I wondered how it mattered,” she recalled. “No one (who is living) would be helped by me digging up a 2,000-year-old Mayan king.” In contrast, her current role lets her help families know what befell loved ones and move through the sad details of loss, such as funerals and insurance paperwork.

Harnett calls her job “a puzzle that sometimes has answers. In archaeology, you may find a tomb, but you never know if your theories are correct. With forensic cases, you do the analysis and, once you fill in the blanks, you can often see how accurate you were.”

Early in her doctoral studies, Harnett began volunteering her skills as a member of a government- sponsored disaster-response team. Through it, she was deployed to identify victims in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

“My work for 9/11 made it clear to me that I did want to do this type of work to give families closure,” she said. Along with their normal caseload, her team continues to work on 9/11 remains. “Everyone killed was issued death certificates, but 41 percent of the missing have not been identified. That’s why we’re still working on it.”

Source: ASU, Excellence in Graduate Education 

corporisfabrica:

Osteology - the bones of the spine, pelvis, hands and feet as well as clavicle, rib and hyoid.  Illustration from “Anatomie normale du corps humain: atlas iconographique de XVI planches” (1841)

corporisfabrica:

Osteology - the bones of the spine, pelvis, hands and feet as well as clavicle, rib and hyoid.
Illustration from “Anatomie normale du corps humain: atlas iconographique de XVI planches” (1841)

JUST FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY THESIS!

Sitting at my desk like:






Aaaaaand….now to start on edits….. *major sigh* 

JUST FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY THESIS!

Sitting at my desk like:

Aaaaaand….now to start on edits….. *major sigh* 


Zapotec Mortuary Urn, Classic Period (ca. 600-900 AD)
On display at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Zapotec Mortuary Urn, Classic Period (ca. 600-900 AD)

On display at the Palm Springs Art Museum.

(Source: suzythered)

indigenousword:

Mukka (i. v.) wander in canoe in search of blubber (whale fat).
Yámana or Yagán people lived in the islands and channels of Tierra del Fuego, in southern Argentina and Chile.
From: Bridges, Lucas. 1952. El último confín de la tierra. Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores.

indigenousword:

Mukka (i. v.) wander in canoe in search of blubber (whale fat).

Yámana or Yagán people lived in the islands and channels of Tierra del Fuego, in southern Argentina and Chile.

From: Bridges, Lucas. 1952. El último confín de la tierra. Buenos Aires: Emecé Editores.

");pageTracker._trackPageview()}catch(err){}