Department of Anthropology Brown Bag Series: Historical Bioarchaeology in Shaanxi, China

Dr. Elizabeth Berger, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, will be presenting her work in Shaanxi, China on Wednesday (March 10 2021) @4-5pm (PST). Please look at the attached flyer for more details! Open to Everyone! 

 

Abstract: The Yangguanzhai cemetery, near Xi’an, China, has been in use from the Neolithic period through recent historical times. The cemetery includes 22 brick tombs from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), many of them multiple burials, belonging to local elites. This talk will describe the course of bioarchaeology work on the human remains from these tombs. It will describe the history of discovery and how Dr. Berger’s work on the collection took shape. Initially, research focused on the osteology of foot binding in the cemetery’s women, and how it evidences variation in the practice and its social significance. More recently, Dr. Berger and colleagues have focused on a more holistic, osteobiographical approach to analyzing the men and women buried in the cemetery. Particularly, this combines an analysis of written records of individual lives in carved epitaphs from the cemetery, paired with osteological examination. Analysis of all occupants of the Ming tombs revealed a relatively high prevalence of trauma, as well as cases of probable smallpox, joint dislocation, osteoarthritis, periostitis, linear enamel hypoplasias, and craniosynostosis. This study is intended to model the possibilities of collaboration between bioarchaeology and history, building on the extensive historical, archaeological, and skeletal records of China.

 

 

Dial-In Information

Please log onto the following zoom link: https://ucr.zoom.us/j/98555689576

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event