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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the scope of bioarchaeology in the American Southwest, the strengths and limitations of the research, and challenges presented by the cultural resource management work setting and concern with the preferences of descendant communities regarding the treatment and study of human remains. The bioarchaeological record of childhood, gendered social and economic roles, variation in diet and health, biological distance, and the contexts of interpersonal and lethal violence provide unique insights into daily life in the past, as well as the larger social and political processes that drive cultural and biological history in this region. The rejection of systematic and fine-grained analysis of mortuary features is a notable irony given the interest in identity construction, ethnicity, and migration in Southwest archaeology.

Keywords: bioarchaeology, Southwest

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