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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Anthropology  Physical Anthropology

Behaviour in our Bones How Human Behaviour Influences Skeletal Morphology

By: Cara Stella Hirst(Editor), Rebecca J Gilmour(Editor), Kimberly A Plomp(Editor), Francisca Alves Cardoso(Editor), Jay T Stock(Foreword By)
317 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Publisher: Elsevier
Behaviour in our Bones
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  • Behaviour in our Bones ISBN: 9780128213834 Paperback Feb 2023 In stock
Price: £97.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

There is a wealth of research papers, spanning multiple fields, that investigates morphological changes in the human skeleton in relation to behaviour and biomechanics. Finding this information is time consuming and often not accessible. Behavior in our Bones: How Human Behavior Influences Skeletal Morphology brings this information together in one source and provides an accessible approach to this topic, demonstrating the variation in this research while simultaneously covering the topic in sufficient detail for use in research. This resource provides a clear and consistent narrative, with each chapter having a similar structure, clearly building upon evidence for behaviour reconstruction from morphological changes before discussing the archaeological/anthropological research and value. This resource is an in-depth and comprehensive introduction to theories and research that have allowed archaeologists/anthropologists to infer behaviour and behavioural changes among past populations.

Key Features: 
- Bridges the gap between the basic concepts of the field and details to the reader how various methods can be employed to examine morphological differences and interpret the findings
- Provides a comprehensive discussion of morphological changes to the skeleton related to human behaviours
- Explains the basic concepts of bone remodelling and morphological variation before bringing together research from those currently working in the field to demonstrate how these concepts are applied
- Reviews the analytical methods currently in use which is good as this is particularly confusing to students and would benefit from clarification
- Includes a summary table at the end of each chapter detailing the research discussed


1. Introduction: Skeletons in Action: Inferring Behaviour from our Bones
2. Bone Biology and Microscopic Changes in Response to Behaviour
3. Biosocial Complexity and the Skull
4. Activity and the Shoulder: From Soft Tissues to Bare Bones
5. Archery and the Arm
6. Tool use and the hand 
7. Behaviour and the bones of the thorax and spine
8. Human Behaviour and the Pelvis
9. Horse riding and the Lower Limbs
10. Locomotion and the foot
11. Injury, Disease & Recovery: Skeletal Adaptations to Immobility & Impairment
12. Acting On What We Have Learned and Moving Forward with Skeletal Behaviour

Customer Reviews


Dr Cara Hirst is an early career researcher which gives her a keen insight into the specific challenges new researchers face and the information needed to address these challenges. She earned a PhD in Dental and Skeletal Bioarchaeology from University College London where her research focuses on bone remodelling and biomechanical alterations to the human skeleton and inference of behaviour and activity from skeletal morphology. While her speciality is 3D geometric morphometrics and human mandibular morphology, she is interested in a range of methods and behaviours which may be inferred from skeletal morphology. She has presented at numerous conferences and published research papers and chapters for edited books.

Dr Rebecca Gilmour received her PhD from McMaster University in 2017. She is an Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology at the Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Department of Sociology and Anthropology). She specialises in bioarchaeology, palaeopathology, and biomechanical analyses of the human skeleton and her research brings together studies of behaviour and activity with those of health and disease. Recently, she has focussed on investigating the long-term consequences of trauma in human skeletal remains. Through her work, she seeks to improve how we understand past and present human resilience, risk, impairment, and adaptation.

Dr Kimberly Plomp received her PhD from Durham University in 2013. She is an Associate Professor and Head of the Human Osteoarchaeology Laboratory in the School of Archaeology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines. Her research interests are broad and encompass many topics related to biological anthropology, such as bioarchaeology, palaeopathology, evolutionary medicine, functional anatomy, and human evolution. Currently, her projects focus on identifying evolutionary explanations for common health problems such as back pain, osteoarthritis, and developmental conditions as well as using human shape variation to trace past dispersals and migrations.

Dr Francisca Alves Cardoso received her PhD from Durham University in 2008. She is a Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator of the Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and Human Osteology at CRIA – Centre for Research in Anthropology in Portugal and is an Invited Guest Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. Her research focuses on how skeletal biology is used to comprehend and reconstruct past human health and wealth, and how social and cultural constructs may be perceived by the analysis of human remains. In recent years she has also explored ethical issues related to the study/use of skeletal biology and human skeletonised remains in science, technology, and humanities and its impact in society.

By: Cara Stella Hirst(Editor), Rebecca J Gilmour(Editor), Kimberly A Plomp(Editor), Francisca Alves Cardoso(Editor), Jay T Stock(Foreword By)
317 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Publisher: Elsevier
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