FOR ALL ARCHAEOLOGY, BIOARCHAEOLOGY, OSTEOLOGY, FORENSICS, GEOPHYSICS AND EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS, CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE:
ARCHAEOTEK - CANADA
Second International Student Colloquium on Osteology and Bioarchaeology
Haáz Rezsö Múzeum
Odorheiu Secuiesc, Romania
July 4, 2014 9:00AM
Colloquium Abstract: For the past four weeks, an international team has worked to analyze human skeletal remains excavated by personnel from the Haáz Rezsö Múzeum in 2012 and 2013. These remains were part of an excavation at the Reformed Church in the village of Bögöz located in Harghita County, Romania. The team has completed the preliminary analysis of 44 burials and will be discussing the ways in which bioarchaeologists interpret human skeletal remains from archaeological sites.
9:00AM – 9:15AM
Welcome and Introduction
9:15 – 9:30AM
Biocultural Evidence of Social Stratification in Human Skeletal Remains Excavated from Bögöz Reformed Church, Bögöz, Romania
The skeletal assemblage excavated at the Bögöz Reformed Church in Central Transylvania presents a typical sample of bioarchaeological evidence for medieval social stratification. Social stratification is evident through a number of osteological pathologies which primarily indicate events of dietary stress during life. Previous studies indicate that events of dietary stress are more common in those of lower social standing. Pathologies were catalogued per individual and compared to burial locations in order to support this hypothesis.
9:30 – 9:45AM
Influences on Height and Stature in Medieval Transylvania
Although genes predominately influence height, this study moves away from genetic influences and instead focuses on the internal and external factors that contribute to height. This research seeks to interpret the past height of Transylvanian populations and make comparisons with the rest of Europe. Fourteen individuals with estimated sex and age were analyzed in order to estimate stature. External factors such as diet, lifestyle, social status, and geography are examined, as well as internal factors such as disease, explain stature variation between populations.
9:45AM – 10:00AM
Long Bone Asymmetry: Implications for Bioarchaeological Research
This presentation discusses asymmetry among long bones, specifically utilizing the femora and humeri from the Bögöz burial site (burials 14, 135, 238, and 256). It examines common causes of asymmetry as well as how it affects the individual on a daily basis. An analysis of pathologies that result in asymmetry of the long bones and misinterpretations of asymmetry will be explained as well.
10:00AM – 10:15AM
Evidence of Pathology in Bögöz
Paleopathology is an important aspect of bioarchaeology which assesses health conditions of past populations. This presentation presents skeletal pathologies discovered in burials recovered from Bögöz and what these might mean. Types of documented pathologies include osteoarthritis, cribra ortbitalia, edentulism, and trauma. We will also discuss the correlation of pathological conditions with age and sex data. We will be illustrating of each type of pathology with pictures from Bögöz and discussing briefly differences between taphonomy and pathology.
10:15 – 10:30AM – Coffee Break
10:30AM – 10:45AM
A Case of Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis (DISH) from a Medieval Church in Harghita County, Romania
An individual presenting abnormal skeletal growths that appear to be a manifestation of DISH has been recovered from a crypt in the Bögöz church of Harghita County, Romania. This presentation will discuss the diagnostic criteria, possible causes, symptoms, and future research that could be conducted on the condition, as well as an explanation of why burial 278 has been diagnosed with DISH instead of any other osteological condition.
10:45AM – 11:00AM
Dental Wear and Age Estimation
This study examines age estimation in bioarchaeological contexts via dental wear assessment in adult individuals. Tooth composition, tooth types, and tooth wear are briefly reviewed, and standards of age estimation from dental wear (Lovejoy 1985) are applied to three 15th-16th century burials from the Bögöz site in Romania (burials 14, 235, and 238). Age estimation from the pubic symphysis (Suchey-Brooks 1990) and the auricular surface of the ilium (Lovejoy et al. 1985) is also assessed for these burials. Age estimation from dental wear and other innominate features are then compared. Results suggest that modern dental wear age estimation standards cannot always be accurately applied in medieval bioarchaeological contexts.
11:00AM – 11:15AM
Legions of Lesions: An Examination of the Severity and Prevalence of Dental Caries in Medieval Bögöz
This study examines the severity and prevalence of dental caries in individuals excavated from the medieval burials at the Bögöz site. Of the 24 processed burials that contained teeth, 20 have dental caries. In order to determine patterns in the locations and severity of dental caries across the population buried at Bögöz, each individual carious tooth is scored following the methodology of Lanfranco and Eggers (2010). This information is indicative of historical dietary patterns of the area surrounding the church.
11:15 – 11:30AM
Dental Calculus: A Sample Analysis from the Bögöz Site
By examining a sample of the skeletons with dentition from the Bögöz site, this project aims to create a dataset from which basic conclusions can be drawn. This sample analysis can be compared with data from other sites in order to determine information such as possible dietary and cultural practices. Specifically, we are interested in the formation, distribution, and thickness of dental calculus.
11:45 – 12:00PM
The taphonomy of the Bögöz site appears in a variety of ways. Though extreme taphonomical changes are not present in all individuals there are those that do display notable changes. Several individuals (n=3) presented green mineral staining, evidence of bony contact with copper or copper-alloy material objects. Other changes include some discoloration, weathering, and build-up on bone. The factors that can contribute to taphonomy are numerous and can vary from site-to-site. This presentation will cover the general skeletal changes analyzed the Bögöz bioarchaeological assemblage.
12:00 – 12:15PM