Osteonarratives in the German-Language Tradition

Author(s): Estella Weiss-Krejci

Year: 2017


This paper will discuss the research history of "osteobiography" in German-language anthropology and archaeology. That the term "Osteobiographie" is actually not in use does not imply that the concept does not exist. Although German-speaking prehistoric anthropologists were and still are predominantly focused on population research, science-based stories relating to individuals have been told, for instance, about Ötzi the Iceman. On closer inspection such narratives reveal a tendency to surface under very particular circumstances: they are either triggered by a particular find context, by specific osteological characteristics or by historic circumstances under which these bodies are discovered. Hence, like all biographies, osteonarratives run the danger of being subject to manipulation in many ways. The paper analyses some of these narratives and discusses current trends and attitudes relating to osteobiographies in the German-speaking archaeological and anthropological research community.

Cite this Record

Osteonarratives in the German-Language Tradition. Estella Weiss-Krejci. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430640)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15765