Bone Remodeling Behavior Across the Surfaces of the Skeleton as Biographical Windows

Author(s): Sabrina Agarwal

Year: 2017


The morphology of the whole skeleton is crafted over the life course by bone remodeling across its skeletal surfaces: the endosteal surface of its trabeculae, and on the periosteal, endocortical, and intracortical surfaces of its cortex. The behavior of each of these surfaces differs between individuals and populations resulting in some understood differences in bone morphology across human groups. But the skeletal surfaces are also differentially influenced during growth, aging, reproduction, activity, disease, and other aspects of life experience. Analyzing aspects of bone quantity and quality at these various bone surfaces can provide windows into bone remodeling events of the once living skeleton. This paper will demonstrate how scaling between this record of cellular activity at the level of tissue, bone, skeleton, and community, bioarchaeologists have the potential to reconstruct aspects of past life history. An appreciation of the biology that undertakes the construction of the skeleton at its most basic cellular level extends the concept of the osteobiography. At the same time, an appreciation of the biocultural influences on this basic cellular activity provides a more humanistic perspective on our on reconstruction of the person from the skeleton.

Cite this Record

Bone Remodeling Behavior Across the Surfaces of the Skeleton as Biographical Windows. Sabrina Agarwal. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430629)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14841