Bioarchaeology of Marginalized People

Bioarchaeology of Marginalized People

1st Edition - February 18, 2019

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  • Editors: Madeleine Mant, Alyson Holland
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128152249
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128152256

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Bioarchaeology of Marginalized People amplifies the voices of marginalized or powerless individuals. Following previous work done by physical anthropologists on the biology of poverty, this volume focuses on the voices of past actors who would normally be subsumed within a cohort or whose stories represent those of the minority. The physical effects of marginalization – manifest as skeletal markers of stress and disease – are read in their historical contexts to better understand vulnerability and the social determinants of health in the past. Bioarchaeological, archaeological, and historical datasets are integrated to explore the varied ways in which individuals may be marginalized both during and after their lifespan. By focusing on previously excluded voices this volume enriches our understanding of the lived experience of individuals in the past. This volume queries the diverse meanings of marginalization, from physical or social peripheralization, to identity loss within a majority population, to a collective forgetting that excludes specific groups. Contributors to the volume highlight the histories of individuals who did not record their own stories, including two disparate Ancient Egyptian women and individuals from a high-status Indigenous cemetery in British Columbia. Additional chapters examine the marginalized individuals whose bodies comprise the Robert J. Terry anatomical collection and investigate inequalities in health status in individuals from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Modern clinical population health research is examined through a historical lens, bringing a new perspective to the critical public health interventions occurring today. Together, these papers highlight the role that biological anthropologists play both in contributing to and challenging the marginalization of past populations.

Key Features

  • Highlights the histories and stories of individuals whose voices were silenced, such as workhouse inmates, migrants, those of low socioeconomic status, the chronically ill, and those living in communities without a written language
  • Provides a holistic and more complete understanding of the lived experiences of the past, as well as changes in populations through time
  • Offers an interdisciplinary discussion with contributions from a wide variety of international authors


Biological Anthropologists, Palaeopathologists, Historical Archaeologists, Palaeoepidemiologists, Historians, Museum Curators and Social Epidemiologists. Graduate Level and Upper-Level Undergraduate Level students in Bioarcheology and Archaeology

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    2. Mummies, memories and marginalization: the changing social roles of a mummy from ancient to modern times
    3. Task Activity and Tooth Wear in a Woman of Ancient Egypt
    4. Looking into the Eyes of the Ancient Chiefs of Shíshálh: The osteology and facial reconstructions of a 4000-year-old high status family
    5. "Officially absent but actually present": bioarchaeological evidence for population diversity in London during the Black Death, AD 1348-50
    6. Marginalized by Choice – Kayenta Pueblo Communities in the Southwest (AD 800-1500)
    7. Marginalized Bodies and the Construction of American Anatomical Collections
    8. Health inequity and spatial divides: infant mortality during Hamilton, Ontario’s industrial transition, 1880-1912
    9. In the Shadow of War: The Forgotten 1916 Polio Epidemic in New Zealand
    10. Exploring the Effects of Structural Inequality in an Individual from Nineteenth-Century Chicago
    11. Down and out in Post Medieval London: Changes in Welfare Ideology and the Impact on the Health of Workhouse Inmates
    12. Innovation in population health intervention research: a historical perspective
    13. Mapping Marginalized Pasts

Product details

  • No. of pages: 300
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: February 18, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128152249
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128152256

About the Editors

Madeleine Mant

Madeleine L. Mant, PhD, is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. She has published bioarcheological and historical articles in international peer-reviewed journals. Her Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship-funded doctoral research involved the uniting of archival and skeletal data to study skeletal trauma and fracture experience in Georgian London, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Alyson Holland

Alyson Jaagumägi Holland, PhD, has experience in archaeology, biological, and medical anthropology. She has published on topics related to bioarchaeology and medical anthropology, including her doctoral using qualitative methods to explore nutrition and osteoporosis in Canadian young adults. Dr. Holland is also active in bioarchaeology as a member of a community archaeology project in British Columbia and is a licensed professional She is currently training to become a family physician, seeking to unite her interest in the nutrition of past peoples with modern health interventions.

Affiliations and Expertise

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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