Entheseal Changes and Reconstruction of Human Behavior: Towards Standardization

Duration: 2013

Abstract: Reconstruction of past human behavior has been a key focus within anthropology, particularly via the evaluation of changes to entheses (skeletal muscle attachments). Three working groups were set up to tackle the primary problems highlighted at a previous meeting on entheseal changes (ECs) in 2009, namely: inconsistent terminology (WGT); lack of standardized recording methods (WGM); and the inconsistent approach to the interpretation of occupation and workloads in the past (WGO). Since 2009, no opportunity had arisen for a meeting of all eleven working group members to discuss and exchange ideas. The aim of the 2013 workshop was to provide a setting for this, alongside space for each working group to meet and resolve specific questions. During this week-long workshop the WGT created a standardized terminology using biomedical and anthropological literature to choose the most neutral terms for ECs. The WGM tested and redefined a published standardized recording method to improve its reproducibility. Finally the WGO used multivariate analysis to test whether individuals clustered into occupational or socio-cultural categories based on ECs. The interaction during this week and the discussions that took place have pushed forward the boundaries of current EC research within each working group and as a whole.

Coordinator: Sebastien Villotte (U. Bordeaux)

Other organizers: Charlotte Henderson (U. Coimbra), Francisca Alves Cardoso (CRIA-FCSH Lisboa), and Geneviève Perréard (U. Geneva)

Grant Type: Conference & Workshop Grant
Institutional Affiliation: Bordeaux, U.