The materiality of age: osteoarchaeology, objects, and the contingency of human development


Sofaer, Joanna (2005) The materiality of age: osteoarchaeology, objects, and the contingency of human development. Ethnographisch-Archäologischen Zeitschrift, 45, (2-3), 165-180.

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Description/Abstract

Osteological determinations are regularly used as the basis for archaeological interpretation through the association of objects with human skeletons of a given age. Thus, the skeletal body is employed as a means of underpinning interpretations rather than a source for generating them. This paper explores the relationship between the practice of human osteoarchaeology and material culture based interpretative archaeology through an investigation of ontological distinctions between child and adult. It outlines a theoretical framework that identifies the bioarchaeological study of the human skeleton as a way of relating bodies and objects in order to more fully incorporate physiological changes of the body throughout the life course into contextually specific understandings of social identity. Rather than identifying age in terms of a series of categories, by revisiting the relationship between bodies and objects it becomes about processes of human development. Age is a temporal and material concept.

Item Type: Article
Related URLs:
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 43321
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:27
Contact Email Address: jrsd@soton.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/43321

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