Eileen Murphy and colleagues from the Kunstkamera have organized an important and timely session for the European Association of Archaeologists conference in Helsinki this fall. Here is the abstract, courtesy of Eileen:
From Skulls and Skeletons to Ancient People: Approaches to Human Remains from Prehistoric Northern Eurasia
Organisers: Eileen Murphy (Queen’s University Belfast; Ireland), Vyacheslav Moiseyev (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography The Kunstkamera; Russia) and Valery Khartanovich (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography The Kunstkamera; Russia)
From its earliest beginnings, physical anthropology has been recognised as an important tool for enabling the reconstruction of a variety of facets of human history. For many years anthropological data represented the predominant source of information pertaining to the biological aspects of a past population’s history. Given the attributes of the anthropological data collected most studies have focused on the nature of genetic admixture apparent within population groups as well as sought evidence relating to ancient migrations. In recent years, the situation has notably changed, however, and much more attention is now placed on the study of the physical remains of these prehistoric people using a suite of other scientific approaches, which include the study of ancient diseases, stable isotopes and ancient DNA amongst others. Approaches and techniques within both physical anthropology and scientific archaeology are constantly developing and the objective of the session is to draw together researchers, with a wide variety of research interests, but in which the corporeal remains of the ancient people of Northern Eurasia are central. Contextualised research of this nature has the potential to provide substantial insights on key archaeological themes, including diet, economy, health, lifestyle, funerary practices and migration. It is envisaged that this cross‐over of approaches has the potential to lead to more nuanced understandings of the prehistoric populations of Northern Eurasia and ensure that the people are central to these debates.
Web link – http://www.eaa2012.fi/index