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Summer SAVY 2015 (Week 3, Day 4) – Written in Bones (Rising 6th/7th)

Posted by on Thursday, June 25, 2015 in SAVY blog.

Today we learned about paleopathology, the study of ancient diseases. We learned how to identify osteoarthritis and oral diseases by looking at a person’s bones. Mr. Matt brought in a skeleton today and we had to diagnose the diseases he or she suffered from and make guesses as to what the person’s life was like. The skeleton showed many symptoms of osteoarthritis!

We also talked about trauma and violence, and how bones can tell us if a person suffered from particular injuries and if the bone broke before or after a person died. By analyzing patterns of wounds across many skeletons, we can say something about violence and warfare in the past. Bone fractures show archeologists a great deal about a burial and the skeletons found within it.

This afternoon we went to Vanderbilt’s isotope lab! We looked at bone samples and found out how archeologists analyze isotopes to determine what ancient peoples ate. We have learned so many awesome ways that bones can communicate to us the stories and lives of ancient people.