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Biological Anthropology of Latin America: Historical Development and Recent Advances

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posted on 2019-12-13, 14:29 authored by Douglas H. Ubelaker, Sonia E. Colantonio

Despite significant positive developments within topics of biological anthropology, archaeology, and related academic areas in Latin America, we noted a lack of coordination and communication among them. Available publications provide syntheses within different areas of biological anthropology, yet few have attempted integration of the distinct subfields. We decided to address the development and current issues of most major areas of Latin American biological anthropology in a single volume with chapters by distinguished, experienced scholars who live and work in Latin America, are knowledgeable about the topics, have published extensively on them, and who were recommended by specialists within six geographical regions of interest: Brazil and northeastern South America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, northwestern South America, and southern South America. Six subdisciplines within biological anthropology were defined for academic coverage: (1) biodemography and epidemiology; (2) bioarchaeology and skeletal biology; (3) paleopathology; (4) forensic anthropology; (5) population genetics; and (6) growth, development, health, and nutrition. Though these six subdisciplines overlap to an extent, each offers a distinct history of development and presents unique issues to address. Chapters generally cover topics of history, the state of knowledge, methodological perspective, and areas in need of additional research. Although the text is in English, abstracts in English, Spanish, and Portuguese are included.



  • Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology

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Smithsonian Institution; National Museum of Natural History