Bodies and Lives in Ancient America offers a broad overview of what it was like to live and die throughout North America before European contact. Using a unique life history approach, the book moves from pregnancy and birth through to senescence. Drawing on biological data gathered from human remains, as well as cultural and environmental data derived from archaeological investigations, the authors provide students with a wealth of information on health and other aspects of life that leave changes on the skeletal system. Rich case studies throughout demonstrate the temporal, cultural and environmental variability across the continent prior to colonial times. The authors also examine how different groups faced a variety of challenges in their lives, including climate change and violence, and the effects this had on their health. The book concludes by considering the relevance of what ancient bones reveal for people today. Written in an engaging style, with complex paleopathology data synthesized and clearly presented, Bodies and Lives in Ancient America is an accessible introduction to the state of health across prehistoric North America.
Debra L. Martin is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA. Anna J. Osterholtz is a visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.
1. Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives 2. Biocultural Perspectives on Health and Disease 3. Pregnancy and Birth in Ancient America 4. Growing Up in Ancient America 5. Adult Life in Ancient America 6. Growing Old in Ancient America 7. Life Histories and the Arc of Time