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A life in science Papers in honor of J. Lawrence Angel. Edited by J.E. Buikstra. xiii + 210 pp. Kampsville Center for American Archaeology. 1990 $12.50 (paper)

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A Life in Science: Papers in Honor of J.
Lawrence Angel. Edited by J.E. Buikstra.
xiii I 210 pp. Kampsville: Center for American Archaeology. 1990, $12.50 (paper).
something “organic precedes” the psychosomatic neurosis.
In Chapter 4, Jacobsen and Cullen write
their impression of Angel’s experience in the
eastern Mediterranean where he worked on
Sadly, the discipline of anthropology has skeletal remains that Jacobsen excavated
lost one of its most influential scientistsfrom the Franchthi Cave. These authors
Dr. J. Lawrence Angel. I met Dr. Angel in also covered Angel’s first field studies of
1967 at the osteology laboratory of the Uni- skeletons in this region from various periods
versity of Ankara. He was working with the (prehistoric to classic) which formed the
remains of Catal Huyuk when I joined his bases for many of his influential articles.
project. I continued working under his direc- Angel became well known in skeletal biology
tion when I was awarded the first Hrdlicka with his work on paleodemography, skeletal
Fellowship from the Smithsonian Institu- methodology (e.g., parturition scars of the
tion in 1968. The Angels graciously and pubis), and paleopathology (e.g., porotic hywarmly welcomed me into their home, thus perostosis). Dr. Angel’s global view of hueasing the transition of my first trip to the man health, demography, and body buildalso
United States. Their door remained open for the essence of his work-were
my many visits back to Washington. We re- described. Although his work is of utmost
mained very close until his untimely death importance to archaeologists, and he always
in 1986.
wrote an appendix t o archaeological reports
This 12 chapter book, edited by Buikstra, describing the biological nature of the peogrew out of a symposium held at the 1987 ple in that location, the authors note that
AAA meeting. Although not mentioned, archaeologists made little use of his findmost of the publication costs were covered ings.
by the Biological Anthropology Unit. The
The contribution by Hill and Armelagos
purpose, scope, and subject matter are out- (Chapter 5) assesses porotic hyperostosis as
lined in the first chapter by Buikstra and Angel used it to describe the affect of
Hoshower. They explained how contributors thalassemia. These authors first provide a
were selected based on “an appropriate brief history of lesions that resemble this
range of topics” and who was “conducting condition, and continue by summarizing Anresearch” in areas that “reflect upon Angel’s gel’s treatment of other causes of porotic
impact.” After a few words of praise, this hyperostosis like iron-deficiency anemia
chapter highlights the areas in which Angel (obviously, these authors’ favored this expublished and referred to the Social Science planation of the lesion).
Cooks chapter (6) is long and comprehenCitation Index to point out his most frcquently cited articles. Of his more than 100 sive. Angel’s focus on dentition did not go
publications, ‘The Bases of Paleodemogra- beyond his routine analyses of dental lesions
phy” is the most popular. The chapter is and a few measurements, so this chapter
filled with histograms, pie charts, and ta- turns out to be a good summary of Cook’s
bles all quantifying and classifying his work. work. As a matter of fact, it is the only one
The rest of the chapter outlines the rest of that was prepared like a scholarly manuscript and lacks the “mushiness” characterthe book.
In chapter 2, Ortner and Kelley, Angel’s izing most of the book. The chapter, which is
colleague and assistant, respectively, sum- generously illustrated with tables, starts
marize his research goals, methodology, and with a description and history of studies on
contribution to the literature in osteology circular caries resulting from chronic hyand paleopathology. They introduce Angel’s poplasia of the deciduous dentition. It convisionary “integrative brand of research.” tinues with the distribution of the lesion in
This important, but all t o short, chapter cov- North America and an explanation of possiers the area upon which Angel built his in- ble causes.
Dr. Angel was always interested in deterfluential career. Cassidy (Chapter 3) covers
Angel’s earlier work on obesity. The chapter mining occupational markers in the skelestarts with the prevailing view on obesity in ton. Although he did not publish exten1940s-namely that this condition is pri- sively, he presented numerous papers using
marily psychosomatic. Although Angel his forensic cases as a database. This aspect
agreed with this theory, he believed that of research stimulated interest in numerous
authors dealing with both archaeological
and modern populations. Chapter 7 by
Bridges is a summary of her earlier work
showing atlatl elbow, a degenerative joint
disease thought to be associated with spear
throwing. Using several measurements of
the affected bones, and the frequency of the
lesion, the chapter compares an archaic
huntinglgathering sample with an agricultural one. She concludes that there was no
statistical association of this lesion with
subsistence activity.
The next (and longest) chapter (8) by the
editor and associates deals with a pre-Columbian child from Peru suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. This chapter offers many figures and tables detailing the
archaeological history of the site where the
remains were found and continues with an
analysis leading to a differential diagnosis.
Parrington and Roberts (Chapter 9) discuss the excavation of a black church in Philadelphia. Many studies were carried out
from these remains by Angel and others a t
the Smithsonian. This chapter thoroughly
details many aspects of this 19th century
population including demography, health,
and culture. Chapter 10 by Owsley is a blend
of the preceding chapter with more modern
skeletal materials. It lists numerous sites
and useful publications on historic, non-Indian populations of North America.
Chapter 11 by Ubelaker is one of the
briefest, listing forensic anthropology members and the history offorensic anthropology
(a subject that has already been extensively
covered in many other recent sources). The
last chapter (12) by Kennedy treats Angel as
colleague and friend. In essence, this short,
sketchy chapter discusses Angel’s typological view and concept of race. This is a subject
that deserved more serious attention, especially because Angel frequently used osteometric and morphological techniques in his
research of human biological variation.
There are only a few production problems
such as typographical errors (“Univeristy”
(p. xii), its (“it’s’’p. 30), Palkovich (“Palkovi c k p. 571, and Yasar (‘Yagcar”p. 208). And
with the exception of Jacobsen and Cullen,
diacritical marks were omitted from foreign
names like Hrdlicka (p. 84) the founder of
the AJPA, Kozlkmenyek (p. 96) and Iscan (p.
To conclude this review, one might ask
what this book accomplished. Some of Angel’s closest colleagues such as L. St. Hoyme,
T.D. Stewart, S. Bisell, and A. Aufderheide
were notable by their absence from this volume. There is no mention of the many honors that Angel so richly deserved, as well as
book and article dedications, and special
symposia (e.g., the 1973 AAPA meeting). Finally, an undertaking of this type has great
potential for being informative, original,
and taking another look at Angel’s ideas.
Unfortunately, this book offers very little in
the way of new ideas o r perspectives.
Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
Human Biology; Health, Homeostasis, and
the Environment. By Daniel D. Chiras. xxiv
+ 672 pp. St. Paul: West Publishing Company. 1991, $48.00 (paper).
Human Biology was written as an introductory textbook for undergraduate courses
in human biology. It is organized in the anticipated fashion moving from cells t o tissues from tissues to organs and from organs
to organ systems and on to the organism.
The author Daniel Chiras, a reproductive
biologist by training, has more recently focused his attention on ecological/
environmental issues and has published a
number of textbooks in this area. It is therefore surprising and disappointing that Dr.
Chiras did not choose t o address the whole
area of human adaptability research. In fact
his one mention of “adaptation” (p. 539) appears in the context of his presentation on
Darwinian evolution. This book is dramatically different from Human Biology: An Introduction to Human Evolution, Variation,
Growth, and Adaptability (Harrison et al.,
It is indeed a biology textbook about humans. This large book is divided into five
sections: 1)From Molecules t o Humankind;
2) Cells and Molecules; 3 ) The Human Organism: Structure and Function of the Human Body; 4) Reproduction and Development; and 5) Evolution, Ecology, and
Behavior. There are 21 chapters. The most
extensive section, number 3 consisting of 10
chapters, is an introduction t o the anatomy
and physiology of the organ systems of the
body (e.g., respiration, the senses, the urinary system, etc.). I have found these sections to be useful for graduate students who
had had little background in human biology
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paper, 1990, xiii, lawrence, science, angel, archaeology, edited, honor, 210, american, kampsville, life, buikstra, center
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