New death&body title releases

These are some of the titles I have stumbled upon & that caught my eye at the start of the year, most of which have been published in 2016.

  1. New Developments in the Bioarchaeology of Care: Further Case Studies and Expanded Theory (Springer 2017, edited by Lorna Tilley and Alecia A. Shrenk, ebook)

This 19 chapters title, following up the previous 2015 volume, sets up to provide insights into the bioarchaeological evidence of the past, by raising 2 questions: “How did severe ailments affect individuals, and were there caretakers involved? This follow-up volume offers a wholly new paradigm for the identification, careful analysis and interpretation on temporally specific case by case, locality by locality, bases.” (p. vii).

A special mention to the fellow colleague from These Bones of Mine blog, David Joseph Mennear’s chapter on “Highlighting the Importance of the Past: Public Engagement and Bioarchaeology of Care Research” – you can read here a short summary of his research. His chapter evaluates the potential and impact of professional bioarchaeological blogging and online media presence, reflecting on the ethical implications and drawing suggestions for best practice (a topic of major focus here on Bodies and Academia).

2.  Archaeologists and the Dead  (Oxford University Press 2016, edited by Howard Williams and Melanie Giles)

This volume addresses the relationship between archaeologists and the dead, through the many dimensions of their relationships: in the field (through practical and legal issues); in the lab (through their analysis and interpretation); and in their written, visual and exhibitionary practice – disseminated to a variety of academic and public audiences.”

The chapters I’ve been mostly interested in and read so far have been: Chapter 3 by John McClelland and Jessica Cerezo-Román, Personhood and Re-Embodiment in Osteological Practice (a methodological take on osteology, viewed as a process of configuring and reconfiguring personhood), and Chapter 7 by Faye Sayer and Duncan Sayer, Bones Without Barriers: The Social Impact of Digging the Dead (a chapter on human remains and affect, specialists versus the public, shielding versus openly presenting human remains to the public).

3Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums (Harvard University Press 2016, by Samuel J. Redman)

Another title on my TBR list, this volume looks at human remains in museums- human remains turned into commodities, displays or objects of scientific inquiry.

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4. Injury and Trauma in Bioarchaeology: Interpreting Violence in Past Lives (Cambridge University Press 2016, by Rebecca C. Redfern).

The text draws on a diverse range of social and clinical science research to investigate violence and trauma in the archaeological record, focussing on human remains”

5. An Archaeology of Prehistoric Βodies and Embodied Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean (Oxbow Books 2016, edited by Maria Mina; Sevi Triantaphyllou, and Yiannis Papadatos)

And finally one title closer to my current area of investigation- archaeological bodies and mortuary evidence around the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The volume is structured in 6 sections, covering the whole Prehistory: from The Represented Body, Material Culture and the Construction of Identities, Ritualised Practice and the Performance of Identities, Embodied Knowledge through Technology and Space, to the sections for the osteoarchaeology aficionados- The Lived Body and Identities , and Interaction with the Dead Body.

Thus, it seems that all major publishers released new eye-catching titles, bringing fresh insights into the fields of mortuary and osteoarchaeology studies.

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