HOW ONE SKELETON OPENS THE WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIVES OF ROMANIZED CRETANS
Research in Anthropology is a qualitative endeavor as well as a science. In this paper, we argue that an emphasis on high quantities of samples can obscure valuable research. Anthropology is more of a qualitative field, in which even minimal data finds provide valuable insight. We will use as a case study a Greco-Roman skeleton excavated from a site in Ierapetra, Greece which presents pathologies and abnormalities not found in other skeletons from the same population. We used the sciatic notch as well as different sites on the skull to determine sex. The skeleton overall had very gracile features that pointed to female. Age of the skeleton was determined using the auricular surface in conjunction with suture closure. The skeleton was on the older end of young adult (20-35 years) and the younger end of middle adult (35-50 years); we determined her age to be between 28-32 years. With regard to her pathologies we are looking at the advanced stages of osteoarthritis present on her phalanges and the severe malocclusion wear on her teeth. The abnormal pathologies seen in this skeleton lead to research questions that would have otherwise been unobserved if she had not been studied. Research questions such as: What work were women on Roman Crete doing that would include use of their teeth? How early did children start working? Was this due to family or community obligations? Having only one skeleton present with such severe teeth wear and early onset arthritis allows for me as an anthropologist to think more meaningfully about this population. Anthropology needs to focus carefully on qualitative data more than quantitative data because qualitative data leads to better research questions.
Ryan, Eden J.C. and Smith, Susan Kirkpatrick
"HOW ONE SKELETON OPENS THE WINDOW INTO THE DAILY LIVES OF ROMANIZED CRETANS,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 75, No. 1, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol75/iss1/8
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