Adult bone remodelling processes are influenced by our lifestyle, health, disease, and the environment. My research investigates these processes and factors using microscopy of bone samples from across the Holocene to better understand the conditions under which humans experience significant bone loss. In this seminar, I will discuss two recent studies combining various microscopy techniques (2D histology, biochemical spectral analysis using synchrotron Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy, 3D laser scanning confocal microscopy, and Geographic Information Systems applied to bone histology), successfully reconstructing human bone health in ancient Asia-Pacific. Firstly, I will discuss microstructural changes of the right and left femur from ca. 2,000-year-old human remains representing an adult Philippino male who had lived with left-sided hip joint ankylosis (fusion). His left femur from the ankylosed hip might have suffered from significant leg disuse. Secondly, I will discuss possible occurrence of osteoporosis, resulting from sedentary lifestyles and experiences of menopause, in ca. 3,000-year-old male and female skeletons from Tonga.


About the presenters

Dr Justyna Miszkiewicz is a biological anthropologist who joined UQ School of Social Science as an Honorary Senior Lecturer in July 2021. In 2018, she was awarded an ARC DECRA fellowship (2019-2022) at the Australian National University (ANU), where she also held (2016-2021) a Senior Lectureship and a Lectureship in Biological Anthropology. Between 2015 and 2016 she was a Research Assistant in medicine at Imperial College London. Until 2014, she had spent about eight years at the University of Kent School of Anthropology and Conservation (UK) completing a BSc (2010) and a PhD (2014) in Biological Anthropology, and working in various teaching roles, including tutoring, lab demonstration, sessional lecturing, and lecturing. Over the last ~10 years she has worked with anthropological and archaeological collections of human skeletal remains, and post-mortem/forensic donor samples, to investigate skeletal plasticity (Haversian bone tissue remodelling) in a variety of lifestyle contexts.


Please be aware that we are operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events. You will be asked to check in via the official QLD QR code as a condition of entry. Those who are feeling unwell, who have travelled in from overseas or a Covid-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or have been in contact with Covid-19 positive persons, are asked not to attend the seminar. In addition, the wearing of face masks is now required in UQ teaching spaces where physical distancing is impractical.  

For Working Papers enquiries, contact: j.kariwiga@uq.edu.au

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.