Attempting to Identify Activities in the Past: Preliminary Investigations of the Third Millennium BC Population at Tell Abraq


Address: S. Blau School of Archaeology The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia


This paper reviews attempts by osteologists to identify activities in the past through examination of particular alterations to skeletal remains. Following an outline of the history of interest in occupational pathology, the physiology of bone is briefly summarised in order better to understand the potential of investigating occupation in the past. A history of archaeological research and interpretations in this field is then provided, followed by a discussion of a particular case study in which the human skeletal remains and material culture from the site of Tell Abraq were examined by the author in an attempt to identify bone alterations which may be attributed to certain activities.