Bones Don't Lie

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139 posts · 77,779 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
139 posts

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  • July 15, 2014
  • 08:53 AM
  • 57 views

Understanding Privileged Access to Water from the Dead

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 83 views

Clothing the Dead in Ancient Peru

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 32 views

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

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 138 views

Evidence for Ear Trophies from Human Skulls

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 18 views

Investigating Red-Colored Bones in Mesoamerica

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 186 views

Examining Christopher Columbus’ Crew

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 162 views

Surviving the Black Death

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 186 views

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

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 124 views

What did the Egyptians eat?

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 353 views

What did Genghis Khan eat?

by Katy Meyers 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
  • 207 views

Re-Analysis and Death in Iron Age Britain

by Katy Meyers 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 »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 07:52 AM
  • 452 views

Pigs on the pyre- solving cremation mysteries

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

There is a mystery in archaeology that numerous regions and eras have to deal with- where are the infants? Deceased infants are potentially treated differently when they die- the argument […]... Read more »

Jæger, J, & Johanson, V. (2013) The cremation of infants/small children: An archaeological experiment concerning the effects of fire on bone weight. Cadernos do GEEvH, 2(2), 13-26. info:/

  • March 18, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 253 views

The Antiquity of Cancer

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Cancer is a leading cause of death in the world today, however it is something that archaeologists rarely identify in human remains from the past. The hypothesis behind this is […]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2014
  • 09:18 AM
  • 265 views

The Process of Cremation in Roman France

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

In general, cremation is a category of cadaver treatment that involves transformation of the body by fire. From there, we recognize a few patterns of cremation burials within the archaeological record. First, the human remains could be buried at the site of the cremation, often known as a bustum burial. The grave site is identified … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • February 13, 2014
  • 10:35 AM
  • 257 views

Social Complexity and Funerary Practices in Mali

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

The rise of social complexity is in interesting phenomenon. We’ve discussed before how cemeteries can be used to determine differences in social status and groups using the artifacts, burial placement and human remains to locate patterns. Over time though, these relationships shift, and in general they become more complex. Instead of status being based in … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • February 4, 2014
  • 10:43 AM
  • 253 views

Patterns of Trauma and Conflict in Pre-Hispanic Argentina

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Conflict, war and trauma has always been one of the hot topics of historic and archaeological studies. Conflict has often been seen as a pivotal theme in the development and collapse of many civilizations. It can cause groups to unite against one another, as well as divisions between them. In some senses, our own view … Continue reading »... Read more »

Gheggi, MS. (2014) Conflict in Pre-Hispanic Northwest Argentina : Implications Arising From Human Bone Trauma Patterns. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. info:/

  • January 23, 2014
  • 07:49 AM
  • 293 views

Cemetery or Sacrifice in Carthage… Again

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

About a year and a half ago, I posted an article about the Tophet of Carthage. The cemetery was used for over 600 years, between 730 BCE and 146 BCE, and there are no adult graves found at the site, only those of infants, lambs, and goat kids. The grave markers all have dedications to … Continue reading »... Read more »

J.H. Schwartz, F.D. Houghton, L. Bondioli, & R. Macchiarelli. (2012) Bones, teeth, and estimating age of perinates: Carthaginian infant sacrifice revisited. Antiquity, 738-745. info:/

  • January 10, 2014
  • 07:53 AM
  • 283 views

The Presence of the Deceased

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

I am a major fan of post-mortem photography. If you are not familiar with the fad, it was the practice of taking photographs of a deceased family member, or of the living posing with the deceased relative. The practice became more common after the invention of  daguerreotype photography in 1839, which made taking portraits and photos less … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • January 7, 2014
  • 09:08 AM
  • 243 views

Headhunting and Human Remains as Trophies

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

The practice of collecting human remains as trophies is not uncommon. Trophies can include heads, teeth, other bones, ears and even skin. In some senses, the collection of relics throughout history is a type of trophy collection, though with important religious meaning. Other practices of trophy collection are meant to be a form of dominance over … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • December 3, 2013
  • 10:58 AM
  • 313 views

Disease and Agriculture in Mississippian Period N. America

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Diseases are an interesting thing. The development and location of an area can drastically change the types of diseases present, and which are most deadly. If you look at global health maps, such as HealthMap, you can see how drastically different outbreaks are occurring in different areas. For example, cholera has been a major concern … Continue reading »... Read more »

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