What can you learn from ancient skeletons?

Even after a person has been dead for centuries, their remains and bones have help us identify some of the unique features and identities. For example – a skeleton excavated from the site of an ancient hospital in England which belonged to a male from the 11th or 12th century. The found out that this was a wealth male in his time and died due to leprosy when he was between 18 to 25 years old.

Biological Anthropology

Modern Technology such as 3D portable scanner can help us read features better way that make them as clues. This branch of science is known and Biological Anthropology. This study helps the archeologists to identify and piece together the details that they have found and understand the historical events that may have affected the whole population at that time. the identification is Age and Gender takes place at the initial stages which is the study of MORPHOLOGY. Morphology is the structure, appearance and size of a skeleton. With the help of the understanding of at what age does a particular bone in our body tops growing, the scientists can estimate the age of death. And the pelvic bones gives out the gender. With the help of the bones one can also figure out the disease that a particular person had. The teeth and their conditions on the other hand can give away the diet and malnutrition of a person.

Collagen

this protein can give out the factors such as – the air, water and food that were taken in and consumed. This happened because one these are ingested by the body they make for chemical compounds, and these compounds contain isotopes. The quantity of collagen in mammals varies depending on what they ate and where they lived. With the help of the same one can make sense of the diets and the locations of where these people in the history came from. Once one moves from one place to another the compound of the bones also undergoes some changes. These changes get reflected in the new isotopes. This can help trace down the various geographical places one might have been to, just like looking at maps. Between 1 A.D. – 650 A.D., the city of Teotihuacan in Mexico was bustling with thousands of people. With the help of studying the isotopes in the tooth enamels study found out that majority of these individuals were born somewhere else and migrated to the city. With more extensive study one will be able to find out where these individuals came from.

With the help of understanding and reading the bones biological anthropologist also get to know the cultural beliefs, social norms, wars and the reasons behind their deaths. In today’s day an age these studies are being made use to understand the implication of certain diseases and how it affected the humans in the past and how to tackle them today. These studies also dive deep into DNA research which makes it easier to gain much needed and important insights for the human race.

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