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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Bioarchaeology of French Polynesia

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 06/18/2014
End Date 06/30/2015
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 08/18/2014 11:42PM
Keywords french polynesia


  Ryan Harrod

Student Researchers
  Avery Underwood


Bioarchaeology allows information about the past to become available to scientists in the present. Using methods of osteology, bioarchaeology, and knowledge of cultures can help provide answers about people in the past. Research conducted on collections of human skeletal remains from the American Natural History Museum in New York will be conducted to answer questions about the people and history of the Marquesas Islands.
The project is intended to expand knowledge and insight on the peoples of the Marquesas
Islands through analysis of human remains from two different archaeological sites. The sites differ temporally; one primarily dates to before, and the other after, European contact. The focus of the research will be the analysis of the burials from the two sites using bioarchaeological methods described by Martin and colleagues (2013). The remains provide the biological, cultural, and political identity of an individual. Biological identity is determined by recording the age, sex, and stature of each set of human remains. Cultural identity focuses on understanding mortuary and site context in which the individual was interred. Finally, the political body relies on the reconstruction of health, nutrition, activity, and trauma to reveal a person's lived experience. Data collected on these types of analyses provides a means of glimpsing the lives of the Marquesan people.

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