Bioarchaeology of the Near East, 5:1-18 (2011)

Human osteological database at the Israel Antiquities Authority. Overview and some examples of use

Yossi Nagar

Department of Excavations and Surveys,
Israel Antiquities Authority,
P.O.B. 586, Jerusalem, 91004 Israel

Abstract: The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has a department of osteology that is based in Jerusalem and is in charge of the study of past human skeletal remains found in IAA excavations. The human osteological database was first created by the IAA in 1994 and includes basic demographic, metric, and descriptive data of the archaeological skeletons found in present-day Israel. Over the years, these data have been routinely collected using standardized criteria that are presented here in detail. This standardization allows reconstruction of a comprehensive anthropological profile of ancient local populations and comparison of bioarchaeological data from various periods and geographic regions. Examples of use are given along with selected data from various periods and populations.

Key words: osteological database, metric measurements, non-metric traits, fractures, Israel

Received 3 October 2011; accepted 14 January 2012; published online 8 February 2012.

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