Bones Don't Lie

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148 posts · 85,750 views

Bones Don't Lie is a blog focusing on current news in mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeology. Written by a mortuary archaeology grad student, the blog primarily seeks to expand on news releases on current finds in bioarchaeology and mortuary archaeology. Other content includes summaries of current journal articles, reviews of methods and theories, as well as overviews of topics in the discipline.

Katy Meyers Emery
148 posts

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  • October 14, 2014
  • 11:49 AM

New Morbid Terminology: Overburden

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

As funerary archaeologists, we need to consider the whole range of behavior surrounding death and burial. This includes the ritual surrounding preparation of the body for burial, modes of transportation […]... Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 08:51 AM

Disarticulated Remains: Evidence of Ritual or Scavenging?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There is a joke among archaeologists about the use of the term ‘ritual’. Basically, it seems to be a common thing that when an archaeologist can’t understand a site, when […]... Read more »

  • September 17, 2014
  • 10:02 AM

An Unusual Case of Scurvy found in the Maya

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in one’s nutrition. Historical accounts of the disease are first recorded in 1845, noting the presence of rosy patches of skin, […]... Read more »

  • September 9, 2014
  • 02:07 PM

Cemeteries: Peaceful Resting Places or Competitive Interactive Arenas?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

When I think about modern cemeteries, I usually perceive them as quiet resting places for the deceased. As I drive by them they are usually well kept, maintained green spaces […]... Read more »

Koji Mizoguchi. (2014) The centre of their life-world: the archaeology of experience at the Middle cemetery of Tateiwa-Hotta, JapanYayoi. Antiquity, 836-850. info:/

  • September 4, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Performing Funerals in Mycenaean Greece (1600-1100 BCE)

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

I’ve been spending the last few days learning about grave goods found with the dead during the Early Anglo-Saxon period. Grave goods are an interesting artifact- as it isn’t something […]... Read more »

Boyd, Michael. (2014) The materiality of performance in Mycenaean funerary practices. World Archaeology. info:/

  • August 20, 2014
  • 01:22 PM

Agriculture, Inequality and Cremation in Iron Age Spain

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

One of the major debates in archaeology is when do we begin to see inequality among human groups, and what caused this this to happen. Social inequality has been defined […]... Read more »


  • August 12, 2014
  • 08:59 AM

Why are the elderly invisible in archaeological contexts?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

For the past two months, I have been busy preparing my dissertation data for analysis. This means that I am taking the paper versions of my data from books, monographs, […]... Read more »

C. Cave, & M. Oxenham. (2014) Identification of the Archaeological ‘Invisible Elderly’: An Approach Illustrated with an Anglo-Saxon Example. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/

  • July 29, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Finding the Missing Stories: The Prior Cemetery’s Unmarked Slave Graves

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

One of the more common (though often frustrating) questions we get in archaeology is “Why are you doing historic archaeology? We already know what happened”. To some extent, for eras […]... Read more »

  • July 24, 2014
  • 09:12 AM

Using Teeth to Learn About Diet, Cooking and Food Processing in Prehistoric Sudan

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

How could someone determine what you eat from only examining the things you leave behind? To add to the challenge, you would be hypothetically deceased and unable to communicate your […]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2014
  • 08:53 AM

Understanding Privileged Access to Water from the Dead

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

As humans, we cannot survive without water. In the first world, we are privileged to have consistent access to fresh clean water. In many countries, access to water is based […]... Read more »

Lightfoot, E., Šlaus, M., & O'Connell, T. (2014) Water consumption in Iron Age, Roman, and Early Medieval Croatia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 154(4), 535-543. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22544  

  • July 9, 2014
  • 09:21 AM

Clothing the Dead in Ancient Peru

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Why is clothing on the dead so important? Because what we choose to put on our bodies conveys social meanings about our wealth, our status, and the social groups we […]... Read more »

  • June 24, 2014
  • 12:13 PM

One Grave Does Not Equal One Person: Hunter-gatherer Graves in Argentina

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There seems to be an assumption that one grave will only hold one individual. Why we assume this is kind of strange given that even today we don’t always bury […]... Read more »

Flensborg, Martinez, & Bayala. (2014) Mortality Profiles of Hunter-Gatherer Societies: A Case Study from the Eastern Pampa–Patagonia Transition (Argentina) During the Final Late Holocene. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/

  • May 29, 2014
  • 08:27 AM

Evidence for Ear Trophies from Human Skulls

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Ear mutilation is an interesting thing. I say interesting, because when I really think about it, there seem to be quite a few historical and pop-cultural references to this kind […]... Read more »

  • May 22, 2014
  • 09:43 AM

Investigating Red-Colored Bones in Mesoamerica

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

It isn’t rare to see bones that have a color other than the usual lab-cleaned white or dirt-stained brown. In my post on colored bones from a few years ago, […]... Read more »

Ávila, A., Mansilla, J., Bosch, P., & Pijoan, C. (2014) Cinnabar in Mesoamerica: poisoning or mortuary ritual?. Journal of Archaeological Science, 48-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.04.024  

  • May 13, 2014
  • 08:35 AM

Examining Christopher Columbus’ Crew

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  The story of Christopher Columbus sailing across the ocean to discover America is something that all children from the United States learn […]... Read more »

  • May 9, 2014
  • 08:27 AM

Surviving the Black Death

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

The medieval Black Death, that struck Europe from 1347-1351 CE, has been considered one of the most devastating epidemics in human history. Europe’s populations dwindled as tens of millions of its […]... Read more »

  • May 6, 2014
  • 08:54 AM

Examining Skeletal Evidence of Activity in a Post-Medieval Dutch Village

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

If you’ve ever watched the TV show ‘Bones’, you know that specific physical markers on the skeletal can be used to determine what activities an individual was doing in their […]... Read more »

  • April 21, 2014
  • 06:05 PM

What did the Egyptians eat?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

There’s something mystical and wonderful about Ancient Egypt. It is one of the first historical eras that really captured my imagination as a child. In many ways, I think this […]... Read more »

Touzeau, A., Amiot, R., Blichert-Toft, J., Flandrois, J., Fourel, F., Grossi, V., Martineau, F., Richardin, P., & Lécuyer, C. (2014) Diet of ancient Egyptians inferred from stable isotope systematics. Journal of Archaeological Science, 114-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2014.03.005  

  • April 15, 2014
  • 08:11 AM

What did Genghis Khan eat?

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Everyone knows something about Genghis Khan. His story and empire is part of the basic history of the world we learn growing up. He came into power by uniting disparate […]... Read more »

  • April 3, 2014
  • 03:06 PM

Re-Analysis and Death in Iron Age Britain

by Katy Meyers Emery in Bones Don't Lie

Re-analysis is an interesting phenomenon in archaeology. It can be both a good thing and a bad thing depending on the collection and type of materials. Re-analysis is exactly what […]... Read more »

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