The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Skeletons in dusty boxes: the use of dry skeletal samples in medical and osteoarcheological research and teaching

Skeletons in dusty boxes: the use of dry skeletal samples in medical and osteoarcheological research and teaching
Skeletons in dusty boxes: the use of dry skeletal samples in medical and osteoarcheological research and teaching
Skeletal material is commonly used for teaching anatomy. However, these collections are rarely used for primary research, despite their potential for student projects or more detailed anatomical investigations. Although the undocumented nature of the specimens can arguably limit study, archeologists characteristically deal with unknown skeletal material. Many methods exist to estimate age, sex, and ethnicity that could enable research. Accordingly, 94 skeletal individuals from Southampton University’s Anatomy department were assessed to determine the usability of methods routinely used in archeology. Age was estimated from degenerative joint changes and dental wear. Sexually dimorphic regions of the skull and pelvis were examined. Ethnicity was identified through craniometrics and CRANID software. As skeletons were complete, aging and sexing methods were easily applied: 95% of individuals were sexed confidently. Although all individuals were aged, often only wide estimates were produced (e.g., 21–45 years). Ethnicity however was problematic and produced less usable results. Ancestry was not determined for 19 skulls. CRANID therefore requires extremely accurate cranial measurements by a practiced researcher. This study demonstrates that archeological methods benefit anatomical research but should be selected with limitations considered. Additionally, anatomical collections are valuable teaching and research resources to osteoarcheologists who are normally limited to fragmented remains.
0897-3806
803-804
Inskip, S.
02c7f989-5572-4e0d-9aca-a3e95dcd3188
Temple, K.
d965f164-a617-4482-bc83-98a1236d4595
Glasson, M.
9b5bf873-9a80-4ada-a8fc-a34e3458298e
Gilder, M.
3eb7a1d3-7370-48ac-a75d-6fc7c90599c1
Williams, E.
a06b8350-5be8-478c-a0ce-573e7fecfcd7
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Border, S.
67fce2e0-d2cd-43a2-a9cc-e6cb6fd28544
Inskip, S.
02c7f989-5572-4e0d-9aca-a3e95dcd3188
Temple, K.
d965f164-a617-4482-bc83-98a1236d4595
Glasson, M.
9b5bf873-9a80-4ada-a8fc-a34e3458298e
Gilder, M.
3eb7a1d3-7370-48ac-a75d-6fc7c90599c1
Williams, E.
a06b8350-5be8-478c-a0ce-573e7fecfcd7
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2
Border, S.
67fce2e0-d2cd-43a2-a9cc-e6cb6fd28544

Inskip, S., Temple, K., Glasson, M., Gilder, M., Williams, E., Sofaer, Joanna and Border, S. (2012) Skeletons in dusty boxes: the use of dry skeletal samples in medical and osteoarcheological research and teaching. [in special issue: Abstracts Presented at the Joint Winter Meeting of the Anatomical Society, British Association of Clinical Anatomists, and the Institute of Anatomical Sciences, 19th to 21st December 2011, University of Cardiff, Wales] Clinical Anatomy, 25 (6), 803-804. (doi:10.1002/ca.22099).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Skeletal material is commonly used for teaching anatomy. However, these collections are rarely used for primary research, despite their potential for student projects or more detailed anatomical investigations. Although the undocumented nature of the specimens can arguably limit study, archeologists characteristically deal with unknown skeletal material. Many methods exist to estimate age, sex, and ethnicity that could enable research. Accordingly, 94 skeletal individuals from Southampton University’s Anatomy department were assessed to determine the usability of methods routinely used in archeology. Age was estimated from degenerative joint changes and dental wear. Sexually dimorphic regions of the skull and pelvis were examined. Ethnicity was identified through craniometrics and CRANID software. As skeletons were complete, aging and sexing methods were easily applied: 95% of individuals were sexed confidently. Although all individuals were aged, often only wide estimates were produced (e.g., 21–45 years). Ethnicity however was problematic and produced less usable results. Ancestry was not determined for 19 skulls. CRANID therefore requires extremely accurate cranial measurements by a practiced researcher. This study demonstrates that archeological methods benefit anatomical research but should be selected with limitations considered. Additionally, anatomical collections are valuable teaching and research resources to osteoarcheologists who are normally limited to fragmented remains.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: May 2012
Organisations: Medical Education, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 366829
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366829
ISSN: 0897-3806
PURE UUID: fd775b68-cd54-460d-b7ef-4a6e0810f074

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Jul 2014 11:24
Last modified: 10 Jul 2020 16:34

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: S. Inskip
Author: K. Temple
Author: M. Glasson
Author: M. Gilder
Author: E. Williams
Author: Joanna Sofaer
Author: S. Border

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×