Bioarchaeologists routinely infer past human lifestyles from skeletal remains using methods that rely on bone gross anatomy. However, recent studies suggest that the relationship between adult bone physiology and macroscopic markers of behaviour may be more complex than originally thought. This talk will explore the applications of femur bone histology to reconstructing past human lifestyles in Europe and Western Asia. Firstly, the effect of late medieval (11th – 16th centuries) English social inequality on bone health will be discussed. Secondly, preliminary bone histology data seriating human femora from multiple and commingled Late Bronze Age Persian burials will be presented. The talk will emphasise the importance of multi-hierarchical bone structure examination when reconstructing human lifestyle in bioarchaeological contexts.

About the presenter

Justyna received her PhD in Biological Anthropology in 2014 from the University of Kent (UK) where she trained in hard tissue histology and later held a fixed term lectureship. She then worked in medicine at Imperial College London focusing on molecular endocrinology of osteoporosis. She took up a permanent lectureship in Biological Anthropology at the Australian National University in 2016 where she leads a hard tissue histology group. Her ARC DECRA project investigating bone metabolism change with lifestyle in ancient Asia-Pacific populations will commence mid-2019.

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.


Steele Building (03), UQ, St Lucia Campus

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