Bioarchaeology of China: Bridging Biological and Archaeological Inquiries

  • Elizabeth Berger
  • Kate Pechenkina


Biological anthropology in China has evolved greatly over the one and half centuries in which it has been practiced. Until the middle of the twentieth century, skeletal analysis formed part of a holistic four-field anthropological practice. After the rise of the Chinese Communist Party, archaeology programs became independent and anthropology departments focused predominantly on physical anthropology and paleoanthropology. In the last several decades, biological anthropology has experienced rapid growth, and has made important contributions to Chinese archaeology. While biological anthropology within China has long been in close contact with the field in other countries, it also draws from a long independent tradition of Chinese historiography, antiquarianism, and medical studies, and has undergone more than 100 years of development within China to become a discipline with its own research foci and disciplinary boundaries.


China Bioarchaeology Paleopathology Paleoanthropology Anthropometry History of anthropology 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Berger
    • 1
  • Kate Pechenkina
    • 2
  1. 1.Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese StudiesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Queens College of the City University of New YorkQueensUSA

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