- Central Transylvania, Romania-
July 6 - August 2, 2014
During the 2013 season of our Osteology Workshops we uncovered a very interesting and unique phenomenon: during the 17th century, the inside of the churches in the region of Odorheiu Secuiesc, in the heart of Transylvania (Romania), was dedicated to infant burials. Our initial study of the church in Teleac/Telekfakva showed one adult, 69 juveniles out of which 48 were of preterm or fetal age.
The next stage of the project will examine how the health of the children in the various cohorts, ranging from preterm to preadult, varies in this period of crisis. The very good preservation of the medieval osteological material and the high quality of the recovery during excavation provides a unique opportunity for a very intensive hands-on experience. Furthermore, students and volunteers who want to expand their bioarchaeological knowledge can excavate one of medieval cemetery associated to the "Lost Churches Archaeological Project".
BIOARCHAEOLOGY OF INFANTS WORKSHOP
July 6 - August 2, 2014
This laboratory workshop session is intended for intermediary to advanced students. Full knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of the human anatomy and morphology is required. The aim of this workshop is to provide participants with an intensive review of juvenile osteology and an overview of the ways in which this kind of unique information is interpreted by bioarchaeologists. During the workshop, participants will have the chance to study the growth and development of the human skeleton across various juvenile age cohorts. Most importantly, participants will have the opportunity to gain experience with the analysis of juvenile skeletal remains.
In addition to hands-on laboratory instruction, participants will also contribute to numerous seminar discussions and hear lectures on topics related to the bioarchaeology of children. The workshop comprises daily intensive lectures on infant anatomy and pathology, group discussions, laboratory work, bone restoration and analysis, leading to individual and group research projects and presentations as part of the Second International Bioarchaeology Student Colloquium in Odorheiu Secuiesc. Topical areas to be included involve the following subject areas: an overview of the bioarchaeology of children, growth and development, weaning and dietary stress, juvenile trauma and pathology, and reconstruction and interpretation of infant mortality. Moreover, seminars and lectures will introduce how novel technological applications (i.e., histology, CT imaging) have been utilized by bioarchaeologists who study juvenile remains.
Students that wish to expand their skills and experience can register for a 3 week (June 15 - July 5, 2014) session of the funerary archaeology excavation immediately preceeding this bioarchaeology session.
The skeletons that will be utilized for this workshop are excavated from four archaeological sites located in the heart of Transylvania. The juvenile remains that we will study are housed at the “Haaz Rezso” Museum in Odorheiu Secuiesc, Harghita County. Odorheiu is a very beautiful and lively Szekely city, with a plethora of cultural, gastronomical and social venues. Historical trips to places such as Sighisoara (Dracula's birthplace and an UNESCO heritage site) or nature hikes through dramatic landscapes of the Eastern Carpathians with all their thermal, mineral and volcanic springs are just a bus or train ride away.