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Children and Childhood in Bioarchaeology$
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Patrick Beauchesne and Sabrina C. Agarwal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056807

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056807.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Human Transitions

Human Transitions

Current Perspectives on Skeletal Development

(p.207) 6 Human Transitions
Children and Childhood in Bioarchaeology

James H. Gosman

David A. Raichlen

Timothy M. Ryan

University Press of Florida

The analysis of cortical and trabecular bone development morphology offers a lens through which general biological processes of skeletal ontogeny can be viewed. These, in turn, establish a foundation upon which biocultural reconstructions of childhood can proceed. In this chapter, the authors draw on skeletal data generated by their systematic cortical and trabecular bone research agenda from a Norris Farms’ archaeological skeletal collection using high resolution microCT imaging combined with new, age-segmented, gait data from extant children. The age-related changes in bone structure, geometry, and architecture are linked to the development of biomechanical competence over the course of three significant transitions in a human’s life course. This chapter identifies transitions and variations in human skeletal biology, skeletal morphology, and bipedal gait as dynamic records of development. These types of ontogenetic studies provide empirical data, which function as a portal to address fundamental issues of interest to anthropologists. Examples of the types of anthropological interests include, but are not limited to, reconstructing past health and behavior; understanding the dynamics of bone growth, size, and shape; interpreting skeletal variation; and providing insight into the fossil record.

Keywords:   Cortical bone, Trabecular bone, Ontogeny, Biocultural

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