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ACH 509: Advanced Research Topics in Human Bioarchaeology: Contributing to Key Questions Within the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and South West Asia

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Course Title Advanced Research Topics in Human Bioarchaeology: Contributing to Key Questions within the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and South West
Asia
 
Course Code ACH 509
Course Type Elective
Level PhD
Instructor's Name  Assoc. Prof. Kirsi Lorentz (Lead Instructor)
ECTS 5
Lectures per Week 
Laboratories per Week 1
Course Purpose and Objectives  This course aims to enable and support the growth of advanced postgraduate researchers in Human Bioarchaeology. This aim will be realized through the following objectives:

(a) engaging students in depth with advanced research topics in Human Bioarchaeology, with direct relevance to their doctoral research and/or postgraduate and future postdoctoral research careers;

(b) exploring, at advanced level, the crucial relations between frontier research approaches in human bioarchaeology with probing, contributing to, and answering key questions within the archaeology of the Eastern
Mediterranean and South West Asia;
 
(c) showcasing how by combining recent scientific and technological advances with advanced human bioarchaeological approaches researchers can (1) provide better answers long standing key questions at the cradle of
western civilisations, and (2) pose new questions and arrive at rigorous answers supported by data and appropriate methods and techniques.
Learning Outcomes Upon the completion of the course, students will have engaged in depth with advanced research topics in Human Bioarchaeology, with direct relevance to their doctoral research and/or postgraduate and future postdoctoral research careers. In
specific, students will have gained a robust understanding of the key relations between advanced research approaches in human bioarchaeology with exploring, contributing to, and answering key questions within the archaeology of the Eastern
Mediterranean and South West Asia. Further, the students will have developed an appreciation of how a range of long-standing archaeological questions about the cradle of western civilisations can be answered through cutting edge human
bioarchaeological approaches enabled by recent developments in science and technology, as well as an appreciation of how new questions can now be explored with such frontier approaches, marrying human bioarchaeology with recent
scientific and technological developments. Students will have had an opportunity to submit as coursework, en lieu of an essay, a research paper that could be a draft for a peer reviewed journal paper.
Prerequisites None
Background Requirements None
Course Content
The course will explore in depth advanced research topics in Human Bioarchaeology which contribute directly to Key Questions within the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and South West Asia. The course is structured as an advanced
graduate research seminar, with the following session topics augmented/ tailored to specific student needs:
 
Session Topics
- The Broad Spectrum Revolution (BSR): contributions from human bioarchaeology
- Domestication and human bioarchaeological patterns
- Technological advancement and human health
- Viability of populations – exploring morbidity, mortality, and childhood health
- Conceptualisations of the individual and the communal: complex mortuary practices
- Increasing complexity in ancient civilisations and human health correlates
- Use of metals – exploring impact through human bioarchaeological approaches
- Socio-cultural signification through the body: malleability of the human skeleton; skeletal and dental modifications
- Can epidemics or pandemics leave a bioarchaeological signature?
- Warfare and interpersonal violence: Insights from human bioarchaeology
 
Laboratory/Seminar Topics
- Non-destructive and non-invasive analyses
- Microscopy at different scales – supporting bioarchaeological problem oriented analyses
- Tomography in Human Bioarchaeology
- Histological approaches
- Digital data capture in human bioarchaeology
- Synchrotron radiation enabled approaches
- Chemical analyses and human bioarchaeological questions
- Problems and potential of specialist analyses: aDNA, isotopic analyses, palaeoparasitology
Teaching Methodology Advanced Graduate Research Seminar
Bibliography

Brickley M, Smith M. 2006. Culturally Determined Patterns of Violence: Biological Anthropological Investigations at a Historic Urban Cemetery. American Anthropologist 108: 163–177.

Creagh, D. Chapter 1: Synchrotron Radiation and its Use in Art, Archaeometry, and Cultural Heritage Studies.
 
Janssens, K. Synchrotron Radiation in Art and Archaeology.
 
Judd MA. 2006. Continuity of interpersonal violence between Nubian communities. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131: 324–333.
 
Kaniewski, D., Marriner, N., Cheddadi, R., Fischer, P. M., Otto, T., Luce, F., & Van Campo, E. (2020). Climate change and social unrest: A 6,000-year chronicle from the eastern Mediterranean. Geophysical Research Letters, 47,
e2020GL087496. https://doi. org/10.1029/2020GL087496
 
Larsen, Clark; Hillson, Simon; Boz, Başak; Pilloud, Marin; Sadvari, Joshua; Agarwal,Sabrina; Glencross, Bonnie; Beauchesne, Patrick 2015 Bioarchaeology of Neolithic Çatalhöyük: Lives and Lifestyles of an Early Farming Society in  Transition. Journal of World Prehistory vol: 28, issue 1, 2015, pp. 27-68
 
Le Cabec, A., Tang, N., Tafforeau, P. Accessing Developmental Information of Fossil Hominin Teeth Using New Synchrotron Microtomography-Based Visualization Techniques of Dental Surfaces and Interfaces
 
Le Cabec, A., Tang, N., Tafforeau, P. Accessing Developmental Information of Fossil Hominin Teeth Using New Synchrotron Microtomography-Based Visualization Techniques of Dental Surfaces and Interfaces
 
Lorentz KO. 2019. Human Remains. In Figurine Makers of Prehistoric Cyprus: Settlement and Cemeteries at Souskiou, Peltenburg E, Bolger D, and Crewe L (eds). Oxbow Books: Oxford.
 
Lorentz, K. O. Marking Identity through Cultural Cranial Modification within the First Sedentary Communities (Ninth to Eighth Millennium BCE) in the Near East: Tepe Abdul Hosein, Iran. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology vol: 27, issue 6, 2017, pp. 973-983
 
Lorentz, K.O.; Lemmers, S.A.M.; Chrysostomou, C.; Dirks, W.; Zaruri, M.R.; Foruzanfar, F.; Sajjadi, S.M.S. Journal of Archaeological Science vol: 104,2019, pp. 85
 
McCormick, M. 2007. Toward a molecular history of the Justinianic pandemic. In L. K. Little (Ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity, (pp. 290–313). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
 
Okazaki, Kenji; Takamuku, Hirofumi; Yonemoto, Shiori; Itahashi, Yu; Gakuhari, Takashi; Yoneda, Minoru; Chen, Jie; 2019 A paleopathological approach to early human adaptation for wet-rice agriculture: The first case of Neolithic spinal tuberculosis at the Yangtze River Delta of China INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PALEOPATHOLOGY vol: 24, 2019, pp. 236-244
 
Sallares, R. 2007. Ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of plague. In L. K. Little (Ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity, (pp. 231–290). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
 
Sarris, P. 2007. Bubonic plague in Byzantium: The evidence of non-literary sources. In L. K. Little (Ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity, (pp. 119–135). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
 
Wagner, D. M., Klunk, J., Harbeck, M., Devault, A., Waglechner, N., Sahl, J. W., et al. (2014). Yersinia pestis and the plague of Justinian 541-543 AD: A genomic analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 14(4), 319–326. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70323-2
 
Zhou, Ya Wei; Zhu, Hong Paleodemography of human remains from Hamin Mangha Site in Inner Mongolia: Evidence of forensic anthropology of cause of prehistoric disaster AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY vol: 153, 2014, pp. 283
Assessment Written work (research paper; seminar presentation; participation in class
Language English