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Bioarchaeology of Pre-Columbian MesoamericaAn Interdisciplinary Approach$
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Cathy Willermet and Andrea Cucina

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056005

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056005.001.0001

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On Interdisciplinarity in Bioarchaeology

On Interdisciplinarity in Bioarchaeology

(p.6) 2 On Interdisciplinarity in Bioarchaeology
Bioarchaeology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

Cathy Willermet

University Press of Florida

Bioarchaeology began as an interdisciplinary enterprise, integrating biological anthropology and archaeology, and organized around central research problems, where researchers from different fields or subfields would actively collaborate in formulating research questions, study design, data collection, and analysis. Today it has developed into its own discipline that includes perspectives from a wide range of fields. Bioarchaeology is particularly well positioned to provide a disciplinary foundation that also supports multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary questions through collaborative research. In this chapter, the author examines explicitly the value of this type of integrative, multidisciplinary or “conjunctive” approach to research. She evaluates the use of interdisciplinary theory and methodology in bioarchaeology in both migration and mobility research and ethnicity and social identity research, particularly in Mesoamerica. A review of the challenges and rewards of interdisciplinary work is provided, and concludes with a discussion of contemporary issues that would benefit from an interdisciplinary bioarchaeological approach.

Keywords:   Interdisciplinary theory, Bioarchaeology, Migration and mobility, Ethnicity and social identity, Methodology, Mesoamerica

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