Katy Meyers

129 posts · 66,845 views

Katy Meyers is a mortuary archaeology grad student at Michigan State University.

Bones Don't Lie
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  • April 3, 2014
  • 03:06 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

  • November 26, 2013
  • 08:01 AM

Grave Robbing: Not Always What it Seems…

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

We’ve talked quite a bit here about the different ways that human remains can be disturbed once they are buried. We’ve had the “5 Reasons to Remove Single Bones from a Grave“, “Five Reasons for Moving an Entire Skeleton“, “Five Reasons for Disturbing a Burial” and “5 Reasons for Relocating an Entire Cemetery“. In most … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • November 19, 2013
  • 10:51 AM

A Hole in the Head II: Trepanation in Peru

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Trepanation is one of the more interesting osteological finds, and it has fascinated the archaeological world since the mid-19th century when Ephraim Squier discovered a trepanned skull in Cuzco, Peru. Trepanation is the removal of a piece of bone from the cranium of a living individual. In human skeletal remains, it appears as various types of … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • October 30, 2013
  • 01:11 PM

Happy Halloween: Can we excavate witches?

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

In honor of Halloween, I was going to post something about the new morbid terminology- necropants. However, this is a site about bones, burials, and bodies- so I’ll let you read that at Huffington Post. For Halloween, we’re going to be exploring the burials of witches. Like many other of the ‘deviant’ burials we’ve discussed … Continue reading »... Read more »

Jerome Handler. (1996) A Prone Burial from a Plantation Slave Cemetery in Barbados West Indies: Possible Evidence for an African-type Witch or Other Negatively Viewed Person . Historical Archaeology, 30(3), 76-86. info:/

  • October 18, 2013
  • 07:08 AM

Excavating a More Recent Past: WWI Mass Grave

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

When excavating historic sites, we gain access to a level of highly informative data- text. Excavating prehistory means that we only have the archaeological remains to tell us who these people were and what they did. But for those sites with text and writing associated with them, we gain access to knowledge about what those … Continue reading »... Read more »

D. GAUDIO, A. BETTO, S. VANIN, A. DE GUIO, A. GALASSI, & C. CATTANEO. (2013) Excavation and Study of Skeletal Remains from a World War I Mass Grave. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2333  

  • October 8, 2013
  • 06:56 AM

Investigating Kinship in an Early Medieval Necropolis

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

There used to be an assumption within archaeology that people who were buried within the same grave or same necropolis were related to one another. In geography, we call this Tobler’s First Law: ”Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things”. This concept in archaeology was especially prevalent among … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • October 1, 2013
  • 08:43 AM

New Morbid Terminology: Cadaveric Spasm

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Understanding the natural and biological processes that affect the human body following death can be extremely important for the interpretation of the skeletal remains following excavation. The way the body is found within a grave can be indicative of the type of burial container they had, whether they were buried in a shroud or with … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • September 20, 2013
  • 11:40 AM

I’m So Hungry I Could Eat a Horse

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

“The horse is a noble animal. This opinion is widely shared in Anglo-Saxon countries where it is felt that it is an ignoble action to eat a noble animal, and one which is an intimate friend of man, on the same principle which forbade Alice, in ‘Through the Looking Glass,’ to sink her knife into … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • September 17, 2013
  • 07:57 AM

Slaves as grave gifts for the Vikings

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Grave goods and burial gifts consist of any item given to the dead at burial or taken by the deceased into their grave. It may be an offering to the gods, an item for the next life, or a personal item of the deceased. We know that humans have been practicing intentional burial with placement … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • September 12, 2013
  • 08:50 AM

Continuity or Colonization: Debating Anglo-Saxon Migration

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

Recently, I  have been reading quite a bit about migration during the Early Medieval period. Traditional narratives of this period tend to argue that as the Roman Empire was declining in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, various barbarians groups from Germany and Eastern Europe began invading and raiding Western Europe. In England, this … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • August 30, 2013
  • 08:04 AM

The Elephant Man: Old Curiosity and New Medical Research

by Katy Meyers in Bones Don't Lie

The Elephant Man was an object of terror, curiosity and sympathy throughout his life. He was studied by Victorian medical specialists, and was an object of wonder for the general public in this era. He was well known throughout London after he began living at the London Hospital. Since his death, he has continued to … Continue reading »... Read more »

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