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Behavior in our Bones - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128213834

Behavior in our Bones

1st Edition

How Human Behavior Influences Skeletal Morphology

Editor: Cara Hirst
Paperback ISBN: 9780128213834
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 1st December 2021
Page Count: 295
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There is a wealth of research papers, spanning multiple fields, that investigates morphological changes in the human skeleton in relation to behaviour and biomechanics. Finding this information is time consuming and often not accessible. Behavior in our Bones: How Human Behavior Influences Skeletal Morphology brings this information together in one source and provides an accessible approach to this topic, demonstrating the variation in this research while simultaneously covering the topic in sufficient detail for use in research. This resource provides a clear and consistent narrative, with each chapter having a similar structure, clearly building upon evidence for behavior reconstruction from morphological changes before discussing the archaeological/anthropological research and value. This resource is an in-depth and comprehensive introduction to theories and research that have allowed archaeologists/anthropologists to infer behavior and behavioral changes among past populations.

Key Features

  • Bridges the gap between the basic concepts of the field and details to the reader how various methods can be employed to examine morphological differences and interpret the findings
  • Provides a comprehensive discussion of morphological changes to the skeletal related to human behaviors
  • Explains the basic concepts of bone remodelling and morphological variation before bringing together research from those currently working in the field to demonstrate how these concepts are applied
  • Reviews the analytical methods currently in use which is good as this is particularly confusing to students and would benefit from clarification. Includes a summary table at the end of each chapter detailing research discussed


Researchers with interests in skeletal biology, biological archaeology, biological anthropology, and human adaptation. Anthropology and biological archaeology higher education students, both Undergraduate and Masters, specifically individuals taking courses that include modules on human osteology and human adaptation

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    2. Bone Remodelling
    3. Methods
    4. Social Complexity and the Cranium
    5. Diet and the Mandible
    6. Occupation and the shoulder
    7. Weaponry and the Humerus
    8. Tool use and the hand
    9. Childbirth and the Pelvis
    10. Horse riding and the Pelvis
    11. Subsistence, sedentism, and the long bones
    12. Locomotion and the foot
    13. Injury, care, and skeletal asymmetry
    14. Behaviour under the microscope: Bone microstructure
    15. Looking for the future in our bones


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2021
1st December 2021
Paperback ISBN:

About the Editor

Cara Hirst

Dr. Hirst is an early career researcher which gives her a keen insight regarding the specific challenges new researchers face and the information needed to address these challenges. She earned a PhD in Dental and Skeletal Bioarchaeology from University College London where her research focusses on bone remodelling and biomechanical alterations to the human skeleton and inference of behavior and activity from skeletal morphology. While her specialty is 3D geometric morphometrics and human mandibular morphology, she is interested in a range of methods and behaviors which may be inferred from skeletal morphology. She has presented at numerous conferences and published research papers and chapters for edited books.

Affiliations and Expertise

Researcher, Dental and Skeletal Bioarchaeology, University College London, UK

Ratings and Reviews