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Osteological Research in Classical Archaeology

July 2007 (111.3)

State of the Discipline

Osteological Research in Classical Archaeology

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The purpose of this article is threefold: (1) to provide a brief historical overview of human and nonhuman osteological studies in classical archaeology to get a sense of why and how the disciplines developed as they did; (2) to examine the current state of research in human osteology and zooarchaeology in the classical context, providing examples of case studies to help highlight the value (and limitations) of osteological analyses in reconstructing aspects of ancient Greek and Roman cultures and the environments in which they lived; and (3) to outline future directions for these disciplines, specifically in terms of connections that human osteologists and zooarchaeologists can share with one another, and how both, in turn, can cultivate ties to the wider fields of classics, archaeology, and anthropology to increase our knowledge of the natural and cultural worlds of antiquity. While some aspects of osteological work in classical archaeology remain underdeveloped, the future holds strong promise for greater use and integration of osteological data within this context.

Osteological Research in Classical Archaeology

By Michael MacKinnon

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 111, No. 3 (July 2007), pp. 473–504

DOI: 10.3764/aja.111.3.473

© 2007 Archaeological Institute of America