Elizabeth Arkush

Learning From Skeletons Skull Look for the sagittal suture — the squiggly line that runs the length of the skull — and note whether is it’s completely fused. If it is, the remains are likely to be of someone older than Look for a second line at the front of the skull — the coronal suture — which fully fuses by age Teeth Study the teeth. If they’re worn down it could be a sign of a poor diet. Consult a scientist who specializes in teeth, known as an odontologist. They can determine how old a person was at death, what kind of health they were in and what kind of diet they had. Sternum Examine where the ribs join the sternum.

East Los Angeles College

It consists of four fields: Archaeology examines past human cultures through material culture. Cultural Anthropology focuses on sociocultural variation among humans. Linguistic Anthropology examines how language influences society and culture.

Know how anthropologists place fossils into evolutionary order based on the dating techniques that determine age and the homologies we use to define species. Dating Techniques: Two ways to give fossils and speciation dates 1.

Time is the quintessential sorter of events. All living beings go through life being on occasion acutely aware of its transient yet eternal, ceaseless yet tenacious quality. Time is the omnipresent judge that indicts all life for existence and condemns it to death. Thus, for the greatest portion of human history, time was seen in terms of an individual or series of lifetimes, with a clear beginning and a clear end. This view of the world applied as much to the wonders of nature as it did to the human being, with such phenomena as the rising and setting of the sun, the moon, and important stars and the passing of the seasons.

Time has always been an enigma somehow understandable to the individual but incomprehensible and unexplainable to others. This ordering of time throughout the ages serves a purpose, to answer the question: Collectors and travelers of classical times, such as Herodotus, studied historic monuments and produced speculative accounts of prehistory. In fact, several dozen classical authors in the first millennium BC ordered time as a succession of ages based on technological progress.

A three-age system encompassing the Stone, Bronze, and Iron Ages was the most common time-sorting methodology, but there were variations with copper and gold. Lucretius BC summarized these Western views of dating the past. The principle of a systematic organization of ex situ archaeological materials started with the understanding of the three-age system in the 16th century by Michael Mercati , who was the superintendent of the Vatican gardens and adviser to Pope Clement VIII.

The combination of his Renaissance education, his substantial mineral and fossil collections, and his access to the newly acquired American ethnographic artifact collections permitted Mercati to formulate the foundations of modern archaeology.


This course covers the concepts, methods of inquiry, and theory of biological evolution and their application to the human species. There is a specific focus on molecular, Mendelian and population genetics, mechanisms of evolution, primatology, paleoanthropology, biocultural adaptations, human variation, and current bioethical issues. The philosophy of science and the scientific method serve as foundations to the course.

Before more precise absolute dating tools were possible, researchers used a variety of comparative approaches called relative dating. These methods — some of which are still used today — provide only an approximate spot within a previously established sequence: Think of it as ordering rather than dating.

To determine the absolute age of wood and organic artifacts. Method A scientific date is either absolute specific to one point in time or relative younger or older than something else. Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, provides absolute dates in two different ways: Direct Dating of Wood Cross-dating determines the age of undated wood by directly matching ring patterns with trees of known age. Greatly simplified, the process samples living and dead trees in a given area.

The tree-ring patterns are matched, and laid down in series, building a continuous timeline of known dates. Once the timeline exists, the age of similar wood e. The ultimate tree-ring chronology is the ‘master’ timeline of bristlecone pines – a chronology spanning more than 9, years. Methuselah Methuselah is a bristlecone pine, and the world’s oldest living thing. His growth rings document nearly 47 centuries of survival.

Bristlecones grow so slowly that a century of tree rings adds less than an inch of girth. The precise, extended chronology of these trees is directly responsible for the accuracy of radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon Dating Founded on a false belief that levels of carbon isotopes never vary, initial radiocarbon dates were commonly off by hundreds of years.

Forensic Anthropology

Contact Us Forensic Anthropology Forensic anthropology refers to a specialised branch of physical anthropology particularly applied to medico-legal matters. When dealing with a set of human remains, a primary fact to ascertain is the identity of the individual and how they may have died, which is understandably not straightforward if all that remains of a body is the skeleton.

Through the study of bones, an array of information can be ascertained regarding the remains including, but by no means limited to, age, gender, ethnicity, cause of death, and even indications of lifestyle such as where a person might have lived. The adult human skeleton consists of some individual bones, with there being even more in the skeleton of a child, whose bones have not undergone certain fusion processes yet, and many of these bones may prove useful to the anthropologist.

Bones develop from cells known as osteoblasts, first beginning as soft cartilage before the bone hardens through the introduction of various minerals, a process known as ossification.

AN EVALUATION OF TOBACCO PIPE STEM DATING METHODS By: Lauren K. McMillan July, Department of Anthropology There are currently three formula dating techniques available to archaeologists studying 17th and 18th century sites using imported English clay tobacco pipe stems based on AN EVALUATION OF TOBACCO PIPE STEM DATING METHODS By.

Elizabeth Arkush Associate Professor Elizabeth Arkush is an archaeologist whose research focuses on warfare, social identity, ritual, and political dynamics in prehispanic Peru. Her comparative approach to understanding warfare explores how relationships of hostility and alliance shape individual, community, and regional identities, structure settlement patterns, generate social hierarchies, and inform ritual and the performance of authority.

Special Topics in Archaeology Warfare afflicts societies around the globe, and it has done so for thousands of years. From head-hunting raids to state military campaigns, warfare has played a double-edged role: This seminar examines selected current issues in the archaeology and anthropology of war. Topics include the causes of war at multiple scales of analysis; the origins of war in human prehistory; cultural variation in the practice of war; relationships between war and political power; and the effects of war on the individual and society.

We will cover concepts, case studies, theoretical issues, and analytic techniques useful for addressing particular kinds of questions about the relationships among archaeological sites and between people and the land they inhabited. Topics include catchments and resource use, travel and transport over terrain, visibility, hydrology, locational modeling, and networks and spatial syntax. It is expected that students will have taken Archaeological Data Analysis II and be familiar with techniques for the acquisition and management of spatial data, the use of vector graphics, rasters including map algebra , and spatial statistics.

The course is intended to pair with ANTH Regional Settlement, Communities, and Demography , and students are encouraged to take both courses simultaneously.

Anthropology (ATY)

June 23rd, Author: Consequently the civilizations of the world naturally and simultaneously started developing near the rivers which initially started flowing due to the melting of glaciers near the Equator e. South India, Sri Lanka and Africa. When populations multiplied, these river waters became insufficient.

Seriation is a relative dating method (see, above, the list of relative dating methods). An example of a practical application of seriation, is the comparison of the known style of .

Everything Worth Knowing About Scientific Dating Methods This dating scene is dead. The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent labs for each method to cross-check results. Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results. Methods fall into one of two categories: These methods — some of which are still used today — provide only an approximate spot within a previously established sequence:

Mercyhurst University

Introduction to Anthropology The origins, evolution, and present biological and cultural diversity of the human species using data from the fossil record, archaeological artifacts, the structure of languages, and behavior and world-view of people living in other cultures. Cultural Anthropology Engages students in Cultural Anthropology as a distinctive activity comprising a uniquely valuable understanding of humanity from the broadest possible perspective and knowledge of cultural diversity, change, and possibility.

Trains students as practitioners to be fieldworkers, intellectuals, writers and advocates by employing an understanding of adaptive cultural processes to address contemporary problems in a globalizing world. Archaeology This course introduces students to the theories and methods of archaeological research. Topics covered in this course include oral communication in archaeology, scientific enquiry in archaeological investigation, the history of archaeology, natural and cultural transformation processes, geophysical methods of site identification, relative and chronometric dating techniques, settlement analysis, burial analysis, environmental reconstruction, artifact analysis, bioarcheology, cognitive archaeology, archaeological theory and cultural resources management.

Introduction to Forensic Anthropology () This course is designed to introduce students to the history, theories, and techniques used in the field of Forensic Anthropology. This course will give students a basic understanding of the importance of forensic anthropology, its connection to criminal investigations, and the variety of research.

Forensic Anthropology Forensic anthropology is the application of anthropology to criminal investigations. It incorporates concepts and methods from biological anthropology the study of the physical aspects of humanity. Identifying unknown individuals is a key part of forensic anthropology. Anthropologists assist in identifications primarily by constructing a biological profile.

This includes estimating age, sex, stature, and ancestry , as well as identifying specific characteristics, like diseases or injuries. In addition to helping identify human remains, the anthropologist analyzes injuries that happened around the time of a person’s death, which can help determine how a person died. To do these things, an anthropologist begins by asking a series of important questions.

The first thing the examining anthropologist must determine is whether or not the material is bone. A surprising number of other materials may be mistaken for bone on first glance, especially if they are covered with dirt or other substances. Ceramic shards, plastic, wood fragments, rocks, small bits of concrete can all be mistaken for bones or bone fragments.

Dating Techniques

See Article History Stone Age, prehistoric cultural stage, or level of human development, characterized by the creation and use of stone tools. The Stone Age, whose origin coincides with the discovery of the oldest known stone tools, which have been dated to some 3. Displayed by permission of The Regents of the University of California. Paleolithic archaeology is concerned with the origins and development of early human culture between the first appearance of human beings as tool-using mammals which is believed to have occurred sometime before 3.

It is included in the time span of the Pleistocene , or Glacial, Epoch—an interval lasting from about 2, , to 11, years ago. Modern evidence suggests that the earliest protohuman forms had diverged from the ancestral primate stock by the beginning of the Pleistocene.

Mar 03,  · Archaeological Dating Techniques Please visit our gallery of Anthropology and Archaeology on the second floor of The State Museum of Pennsylvania where you can view additional artifacts representing our archaeological heritage. References and additional information.

General patterns sought within the diversity of individual cultures. Includes such topics as: Primate and human evolution, including anatomical, physiological and behavioral adaptations. Origin and diversity of modern races. ANT Archaelogical Field School 4 Hands-on introduction to the methods and techniques of archaeology with an emphasis on reconnaissance and survey.

Training in artifact and ecofact identification with a focus on lithic technology.

Absolute dating methods (ANT)