© 2018

Bioarchaeological Analyses and Bodies

New Ways of Knowing Anatomical and Archaeological Skeletal Collections

  • Pamela K. Stone
  • Provides new ways of knowing how social systems and political frameworks shape our knowledge of the skeletal transcript

  • Offers a lens into rethinking our inquiries and considering how the context of our knowledge is cultural and temporal and not always translatable to different times and cultures

  • Draws heavily on social theories to construct and reconstruct interpretations of skeletal collections


Part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory book series (BST)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Pamela K. Stone
    Pages 1-8
  3. Anatomical (Medical) Collections

  4. Archaeological Collections

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 243-248

About this book


This volume features bioarchaeological research that interrogates the human skeleton in concert with material culture, ethnographic data and archival research. This approach provides examples of how these intersections of inquiry can be used to consider the larger social and political contexts in which people lived and the manner in which they died.

Bioarchaeologists are in a unique position to develop rich interpretations of the lived experiences of skeletonized individuals. Using their skills in multiple contexts, bioarchaeologists are also situated to consider the ethical nature and inherent humanity of the research collections that have been used because they represent deceased for whom there are records identifying them. 

These collections have been the basis for generating basic information regarding the human skeletal transcript. Ironically though, these collections themselves have not been studied with the same degree of understanding and interpretation that is applied to archaeological collections.


anatomical collections housed in museums translate biological structures and markers for age and sex stressors impacting the skeleton and population dynamics complex histories of documented skeletal collections interpret the biohistories of the unknown

Editors and affiliations

  • Pamela K. Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Critical Social InquiryHampshire CollegeAmherstUSA

About the editors

Pamela K. Stone is the Director of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research-Hampshire College, Culture, Brain, and Development Program, and a senior faculty associate in the School of Critical Social Inquiry at Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College (1990), and her M.A. (1995) and Ph.D. (2000) from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She would characterize herself as a broadly trained biocultural-bioarchaeologist. She began her anthropological career exploring evolutionary anthropology, and participating in research at Koobi Fora, Kenya. She then shifted to examining the ethics of skeletal analysis in the wake of the Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection legislation. She has worked at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in the department of anthropology, and at the American Museum on Natural History. Her graduate research has included work on mortuary sites on the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on arid lands, paleopathology, and world-systems analysis. Her PhD on paleoobstetrics explored questions of interpretations and cultural bias in reading females in the past. Within this focus she examined skeletal remains from the American Southwest to consider the complex roles that women played in the past, beyond reproduction. She now focuses her work on understanding how biology is negotiated by culture at birth, and how life histories are explored through biology in death, offering ways to consider how culture narrates these stories. This type of research has shaped much of her work as she aims to illuminate patterns of morbidity and mortality for people on the margins through biological, cultural, and ethnographic information. She has applied her skeletal analysis skills to help in forensic investigations, and is a qualified expert witness. Her current work grapples with the ethical questions in the biological sciences and anthropological inquiry, with a particular focus on how inequality impacts women, children, and indigenous communities.  

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Bioarchaeological Analyses and Bodies
  • Book Subtitle New Ways of Knowing Anatomical and Archaeological Skeletal Collections
  • Editors Pamela K. Stone
  • Series Title Bioarchaeology and Social Theory
  • Series Abbreviated Title Bioarch. Soc. Theo.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-71113-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-89037-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-71114-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 239
  • Number of Illustrations 8 b/w illustrations, 23 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Archaeology
    Biological and Physical Anthropology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site