Between Biology and Culture
Humans adapt to their environment through a unique amalgamation of culture and biology. Both are intrinsic to our existence and constitute the dual aspect of human nature. This 2008 book addresses topics and themes exploring this close inter-relationship by presenting principles and applications of scientific approaches to human remains. Their appreciation within a human ecological context, incorporating conditions of the natural environment as well as cultural, social and political circumstances of the past, provides the framework for the detection and interpretation of our biocultural identity. Written for academic researchers and students alike, Between Biology and Culture assembles chapters that encompass topics from taphonomy to individual life histories, from seasonality to food, from well-being to disease, from genetics to mobility, and from body theory to forensic individualization. In doing so, the contributions probe the potential of skeletal analysis to look beyond the face value of observations and to detect the biological outcomes of cultural strategies encoded in human remains.