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Book reviews The archaeology of disease 3rd edition.

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Book Reviews
Roberts and Keith Manchester. Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press. 2005. 338 pp. ISBN 0-8014-4232-X.
$39.95 (cloth).
The broad scope, geographic reach, historical depth,
and scholarly diversity of paleopathology invite a multiedition volume to draw together the disparate threads of
research in this burgeoning field. Although many scholarly works in paleopathology and bioarchaeology have
been published in the 10 years since the second edition
of Archaeology of Disease, many will look to this new edition as a synthesis of recent discoveries in paleopathology and a harbinger of research trends in the field.
The third edition adopts the same disease-focused organization as the 1995 edition. Chapters 1 and 2 provide
a broad overview of paleopathology with an increased
emphasis on study methods, the biocultural significance
of global disease frequencies, age and sex estimation, demographic structure of past populations, the construction of mortality profiles and survivorship curves, and
their significance and limitations with respect to understanding past population dynamics. Chapter 3 has not
changed much, but has been reorganized into sections focusing on congenital diseases affecting the axial skeleton
(e.g., hydrocephalus, spina bifida), the appendicular skeleton (e.g., club foot), and the skeleton as a whole (e.g.,
achondroplasia, osteogenesis imperfecta).
Chapter 4 covers dental disease. The brief and inadequate section, ‘‘Methods of Recording Dental Disease,’’ is
still at the end of the chapter instead of the beginning,
where it would more usefully provide a context for evaluating and interpreting dental disease in archaeological samples. This chapter focuses primarily on dental caries with
an expanded treatment of culturally induced dental alteration and attrition; so I was surprised to find no mention of
the effects of coca or betel chewing on oral health. The latter cultural practice results in incidental staining of enamel
and has a significant impact on dental attrition, caries
prevalence, subgingival plaque and calculus formation,
periodontal disease, antemortem tooth loss, and oral cancer.
This omission is particularly conspicuous given the substantial clinical and anthropological literature on betel use.
Chapters 5–7 are the most comprehensive and satisfying of the volume. Chapter 5, ‘‘Trauma,’’ begins with
fractures, including their types and causes, healing,
associated complications, living population studies, and
the limitations of studying fractures in archaeological
contexts. Emphasis is placed on the problems associated
with interpretation of fracture rates in different parts of
the skeleton because of varying recording methods. The
chapter continues with valuable treatments of the skeletal evidence for interpersonal violence, decapitation and
scalping, and ‘‘domestic’’ violence, in which the authors
include infanticide, child abuse, defleshing, and cannibalism. Conspicuously absent from the discussion on
cannibalism is any mention of Christy and Jacqueline
Turner’s Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the
Prehistoric American Southwest (1999) and the controversy
surrounding this volume.
Joint disease is covered in Chapter 6, which has been
revised to incorporate a decade’s worth of literature on
C 2007
activity-induced osteoarthritis and markers of occupational stress. The chapter surveys the manifestations of
inflammatory (e.g., septic arthritis), autoimmune (e.g.,
rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis), and metabolic (e.g., gout)
joint disease. Chapter 7 covers bony responses to nonspecific infections and specific diseases that affect bone, particularly tuberculosis, leprosy, and treponemal disease.
Of particular interest is the growing body of osteological
evidence for declining incidence of leprosy in medieval
Europe with the increase in tuberculosis, likely the
result of cross-immunity between the bacteria (M. tuberculosis and M. leprae) responsible for these diseases. The
section on treponemal diseases underscores the complexity of the ongoing debate over the origins of venereal
syphilis. Roberts and Manchester note increasing, but
still scanty, osteological evidence for syphilis in the Old
World prior to the fifteenth century. Although some evidence for pre-Columbian syphilis in the Americas is
cited, there is now compelling evidence that venereal
syphilis was absent from pre-Columbian North America.
This puts the explosive epidemic of venereal syphilis in
sixteenth century Europe into an entirely new light. The
authors conclude this chapter with a new but disappointingly brief section on molecular approaches to the study
of infectious disease in past populations.
Chapter 8 (metabolic and endocrine diseases) focuses
primarily on diet, malnutrition, and anemia as reflected
in skeletal indicators of stress. An expanded section on
diet and weaning stress, as revealed by stable isotope
analysis, leads into a lengthy discussion of iron-deficiency
and sickle-cell anemia. Sections on rickets and osteomalacia, Harris lines of arrested growth, and osteporosis do not
differ significantly from the previous edition. Chapter 9, on
neoplastic diseases, is likewise nearly unchanged.
The concluding chapter reviews the prior 10 years’
progress in paleopathology and provides a look ahead.
The authors bemoan the continued lack of a central
registry for paleopathology examples and associated grey
literature, while applauding the development of largescale research programs such as the Western Hemisphere Health Project and the History of Health in
Europe Project. Bioarchaeological and population approaches to paleopathological interpretation have become
much more prevalent in the literature, but the authors
caution against veering too far from the clinical, descriptive underpinnings of paleopathology that are essential
to interpretive analysis. Despite the promise of new molecular techniques, they stop short of fully endorsing
such approaches, citing their inherently destructive nature and the need to preserve nonrenewable, ever dwindling skeletal collections. Thus, macroscopic observations,
radiography, and newer nondestructive methods like CT
and microCT will continue to be the mainstays of paleopathological description and interpretation for some years
to come.
As in the previous edition, the organization of the
book is a bit haphazard. The writing continues to be
unusually dense, with some paragraphs running on for a
page or more. The language itself is frequently unwieldy,
occasionally repetitive, sometimes bordering on nonsensical. Cocked-eyebrow inducing sentences are common:
‘‘Since, as noted, skull injury probably represents intentional blows, the enumeration of such injuries may indi-
cate the peace or otherwise of communities’’ (p. 108).
Boldface type is used inconsistently and often confuses
the intent of the emphasis. There are some minor errors
of fact (e.g., Guam [p. 203] is erroneously placed in Indonesia rather than in Micronesia). Significantly more photographs are included in this volume, but many of the
images—Chinese peasants taking a pig to market (p.
165), tuberculosis and leprosy sanatoria (pp. 192–193), a
cereal box (p. 227)—are inappropriate to a scholarly text
on paleopathology and out of place in a book that has too
few quality images of paleopathological specimens.
Despite its weaknesses, Archaeology of Disease continues to be an important reference source in paleopathology. Those of us more familiar with North American
paleopathology will find the British and European per-
PARENTING FOR PRIMATES. By Harriet J. Smith. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press. 2005. 436 pp. ISBN 0-67401938-5. $29.95 (cloth).
Although many books have been written on sex, gender, and parenting, Harriet Smith’s Parenting for Primates is exceptional in that it synthesizes recent research
from a wide range of disciplines. Smith received her doctorate in comparative psychology, she has extensive experience with captive primates and she is currently working
as a clinical psychologist, which gives the book an unusual perspective. Its eleven chapters focus on maternal
care, paternal care, allocare, weaning conflicts, juveniles
and adolescents, and child abuse and neglect in humans.
By presenting data on these topics from anthropological
and psychological perspectives, Smith creates a cross-disciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-species review of parent-offspring relationships among primates.
The book is well organized with a useful framework
that allows Smith to address an assortment of themes.
Each chapter begins with one or two anecdotes about
monkeys or apes. The book emphasizes research on tamarins and great apes but also contains considerable data
on many other wild and captive primates. The only primates not well represented in the book are the prosimians. Smith then compares research on different primate species and nonindustrialized human cultures and
discusses parenting practices in Western industrialized
countries. In the last section of each chapter, Smith
presents a case from her clinical psychology practice
related to parent-offspring relations.
Chapter 5, ‘‘The Weaning Wars,’’ provides a good example
of how the book’s format works. The chapter starts with an
anecdote taken from Jane Goodall’s research at Gombe. She
describes the case of the mother Flo, who permits her son
Flint to nurse and share her night nest long after chimpanzees are generally weaned. Apparently as a result of this
overindulgence, Flint died soon after his mother’s death,
even though he should have been capable of independent
existence. The chapter then discusses Robert Triver’s
hypotheses on parent–offspring conflict and the trade-off
between investing in offspring and maximizing reproductive success. This is followed by a discussion of parent–offspring conflict in regards to access to milk, transport, and
sharing a nest or bed. Smith uses a variety of nonhuman
primates—howler monkeys, galagos, muriquis, and tamarins—and human cultures—the Hadza, Kung San, and Digo
peoples of Africa and the Taira of Japan—in this discussion.
spectives particularly valuable. Given the increasingly
broad scope of paleopathology, I would urge the authors
to consider an edited volume that would allow a more indepth topic coverage, for instance, of neoplastic diseases.
Given the current pace of paleopathological research and
discovery, I hope the authors will at least consider reducing the time between editions of this book.
The Forsyth Institute
Boston, Massachusetts
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.20572
Published online 1 February 2007 in Wiley InterScience
In addition, she addresses the peculiarities of weaning children in Western industrialized cultures, where children
need to be toilet trained and taboos and laws discourage
nursing children in public. This chapter contains a plethora
of information and is also cohesive and enjoyable to read.
I found Smith’s clinical case studies to be the weakest
part of each chapter. I was sometimes uncertain whether
a cross-species, cross-cultural perspective was useful for
understanding Smith’s diagnoses. For example, at the
end of the chapter on weaning, Smith presents a case
from her clinical practice, in which a woman wished to
continue her marriage but could not forgive her husband
for having an affair. Smith learned that when the
woman was a toddler, one of her siblings died, leaving
her mother severely depressed and inattentive. Smith
concludes that the woman, faced with her husband’s infidelity, had been transformed.
‘‘. . .back into that angry, frightened 2-year-old whose perfect
mother had suddenly disappeared’’ (p. 165).
While this may be an example of the long-term psychological effects of weaning too early, it is not directly relevant
to the rest of the chapter, which focuses on the effects of the
environment, social organization, family composition, and
culture on weaning strategies. Furthermore, as Smith
never indicates how her clinical cases progressed, it is easy
to be skeptical that her interpretations helped her patients.
For example, did the woman learn to forgive her husband
once she recognized she had been neglected as a toddler?
Smith states that one of the goals of her book is to demonstrate that
‘‘the flexibility and malleability of primate parenting behavior
reveal that we have the ability not only to change our behavior
but to make conscious choices about the kinds of parents we
wish to be’’ (p. 11).
For example, she explains that cosleeping is common in
many cultures and across the primate order, and that it
has many benefits for a mother and her child. Thus, she
argues that Western mothers should consider cosleeping
as an alternative to placing their infants in cribs.
Smith often notes that the environment influences primate parenting behavior, but what she fails to address is
that behavior is also shaped by phylogeny. Closely-related
species often have similar parenting behavior, even though
they occupy different ecological niches. Therefore, I would
argue that primates do not have infinite flexibility in their
parenting choices but are influenced both by their current
environment as well as their phylogenetic baggage. So,
American Journal of Physical Anthropology—DOI 10.1002/ajpa
will knowing that tamarins communally care for their
group’s infants affect how much readers of this book invest
in raising children in their communities? It seems unlikely,
as tamarins have evolved very different reproductive strategies than their distant human relatives. Dominant tamarin females can hormonally suppress ovulation in subordinates, thereby increasing the availability of babysitters;
human females, clearly, cannot.
Despite these few issues, Parenting for Primates contains
an impressive collection of information and is insightful and
easy to read. The book is appropriate for physical anthropology classes on nonhuman primate and human behavior and
for classes on sex and gender. The citations, listed as endnotes, are current and numerous and include original
THE HUMAN BONE MANUAL. By Tim D. White and Pieter
A. Folkens. Boston: Academic Press. 2005. 464 pp. ISBN
0-12088-467-4. $29.95 (paper).
‘‘Toss the manual in your trunk, suitcase, glove compartment, or backpack. Good hunting’’ (p. xvii).
Great hunting, great book! Having taught human osteology and human gross anatomy for twelve years and
having reviewed scores of anatomical and osteological
texts, I was delighted to review this manual. Field
archeologists, anthropologists, anatomists, and students
will find that this osteology manual far exceeds expectations. For the field worker, it is small, compact, and
lightweight. For the anthropologist, there are chapters
on biological variation, ethics, and skeletal biology. For
anatomists, well, there are several chapters of exquisite
photographs of bony anatomy. For students, the table of
contents is clearly organized, making bones and landmarks easy to find. While price point does not determine
the pedagogical merit of a book, students will realize
that the content and expertise within this book are certainly worth the price.
The first two chapters provide a very concise introduction to skeletal osteology and field procedures for the recovery of skeletal remains. Chapter 1 appealed to the
anthropologist in me because of the authors’ ability to
create a tone and mood reminiscent of the enthusiasm
displayed by my past mentors. The introduction orients
the reader to the scope and purpose of this manual.
Field procedures are covered in the second chapter. The
authors’ subheadings are short and purposeful: Search,
Discovery, Excavation and Retrieval, and Transport.
Throughout this section, current and reliable citations
are given for readers like myself who are drawn into the
discussions and left wanting to learn more. Ethics in osteology are discussed in Chapter 3, another well written
chapter that describes the controversial circumstances of
analyzing human remains in the twenty-first century.
From cultural repatriation to the effects of looting, White
and Folkens present cogent arguments supported by
references that allow the reader to critically assess each
topic and develop an educated opinion. No bone book is
complete without a chapter on bone biology and biological variation, and the authors provide a well written
synopsis that rivals traditional anatomical references
and introductory biology texts. This chapter does a great
job of illustrating how often we encounter variation in
the human skeleton. Sections on the gross anatomy and
research articles, making this a useful resource for students
and professors. In addition, the book is appropriate for any
parents or future parents who would like to examine their
own ideas about and behavior towards their children from a
broader psychological and evolutionary perspective.
Department of Anthropology
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.20571
Published online 1 February 2007 in Wiley InterScience
histology of bone are sufficiently detailed for most readers, yet intriguing enough to encourage further exploration by those who wish to learn more about bone metabolism or fetal development. The next chapter describes
how to tell the difference between premortem and postmortem damage. Over a dozen high-resolution images
help the reader distinguish between fractures that
occurred during life and damage to bone produced by
vandals or careless extraction.
Following a chapter on basic anatomical terminology,
there are nine chapters of wonderful osteological images
of the entire human skeleton. The omission of smaller
osteological landmarks aside (e.g., mammillary processes
on lumbar vertebrae, supinator crest on the ulna), this
manual could easily serve as a textbook in undergraduate and graduate health science programs. A major
strength of the illustrations is the inclusion of picture
windows that display entire long bones along with magnified views of the proximal and distal ends of each
bone. This approach allows readers to orient themselves
to the general morphology of the bone they are trying to
learn or identify. A hallmark of this text is the alphabetical listing of landmarks, each accompanied by a verbal
description and summary of functional significance,
something lacking from traditional color atlases and photographic textbooks. The paragraphs that describe how
to correctly side bones and avoid confusion with other
bones are another strength of these chapters. No other
manual, in my experience, presents dental anatomy in
such fine detail. Each tooth is fully described, and the
reader is given strategies to help differentiate between
left and right maxillary and mandibular premolars. I
had to search hard to find an area of improvement in
these chapters, and it is located in the few sentences
that describe the growth of each bone. It would be beneficial to list the times of onset and offset of ossification
for each bone and the approximate ages of epiphyseal
fusion. A chapter describing the development of sesamoid bones and their distribution in the human body
would also add to the usefulness of this text in the academic environment.
Chapters 17–19 bring the reader back from hardcore
anatomy to skeletal biology and anthropological osteology. Common conditions that affect bone-trauma, infectious disease, metabolic disorders-are discussed along
with the cultural and biological implications of each condition. There is a well annotated chapter on laboratory
procedures and mensuration with a brief but well written section on biological variation and calculation of pop-
American Journal of Physical Anthropology—DOI 10.1002/ajpa
ulation means. The last chapter is an elegantly constructed coup de grace describing in detail various methods of estimation of age, ancestry, and sex. The chapter
begins with fundamental principles of identification of
unknown samples and discussions about the estimation
of age, sex, and stature. The strength of this chapter is
the presentation of over 10 methods of age estimation
coupled with updated references for each method. The
authors conclude with a description of methods for
reconstructing the demographic history of a population.
Overall, this is an excellent and well written book
that is applicable in classes at both the undergraduate
and graduate level. The novice will be intrigued by the
Axinn WG and Pearce LD (2006) Mixed Method Data
Collection Strategies. New York: Cambridge University Press. 230 pp. $26.99 (paper).
Bonner JT (2006) Why Size Matters: From Bacteria to
Blue Whales. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press. 161 pp. $16.95 (cloth).
Bribiescas RG (2006) Men: Evolution and Life History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
306 pp. $28.95 (cloth).
Buikstra JE and Beck LA (2006) Bioarchaeology: The
Contextual Analysis of Human Remains. Burlington, MA: Elsevier. 606 pp. $74.95 (cloth).
Campbell CJ, Fuentes A, MacKinnon KC, and Bearder
SK (eds.) (2007) Primates in Perspective. New York:
Oxford University Press. 720 pp. $52.95 (paper).
de Waal F (2006) Primates and Philosophers: How
Morality Evolved. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 209 pp. $22.95 (cloth).
Gluckman P and Hanson M (2006) Mismatch: Why
Our World No Longer Fits Our Bodies. New York:
Oxford University Press. 285 pp. $29.95 (cloth).
Hawkes K and Paine RR (eds.) (2006) The Evolution
of Human Life History. Santa Fe, NM: School of
American Research Press. 505 pp. $34.95 (paper).
Jablonski NG (2006) Skin: A Natural History. Berkeley:
University of California Press. 266 pp. $24.95 (cloth).
Kiernan V (2006) Embargoed Science. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 192 pp. $30.00 (cloth).
Levine G (2006) Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection
and the Re-enchantment of the World. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press. 304 pp. $29.95 (cloth).
MacDonald H (2006) Human Remains: Dissection and
its Histories. New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press. 224 pp. $35.00 (cloth).
Meldrum J (2006) Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.
New York: Tom Doherty Associates. 297 pp. $27.95
Platek SM and Shackelford TK (eds.) (2006) Female
Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty: Evolutionary Perspectives on Male Anti-cuckoldry Tactics. New York:
Cambridge University Press. 248 pp. $55.00 (paper).
Rose KD (2006) The Beginning of the Age of Mammals. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University
Press. 428 pp. $150.00 (cloth).
wonder of the human skeleton. The expert is given the
resources to begin investigations in the field of skeletal
biology and will be challenged to think critically. As
such, this manual will be an essential part of any field
worker’s supply kit.
Department of Anatomy
New York Chiropractic College
Seneca Falls, New York
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.20570
Published online 1 February 2007 in Wiley InterScience
Schwartz JH (2006) Skeleton Keys: An Introduction to
Human Skeletal Morphology, Development, and
Analysis, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University
Press. 402 pp. $74.95 (hardcover).
Sellet F, Greaves RD, and Yu P (eds.) (2006) Archaeology and the Ethnoarchaeology of Mobility. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. 290 pp. $65.00
Shostak S (2006) The Evolution of Death: Why We are
Living Longer. Albany: State University of New
York Press. 246 pp. $26.95 (paper).
Silverman H (ed.) (2006) Archaeological Site Museums
in Latin America. Gainesville: University Press of
Florida. 289 pp. $65.00 (cloth).
Sivia DS and Skilling J (2006) Data Analysis: A
Bayesian Tutorial. New York: Oxford University
Press. 246 pp. 74.50 (hardcover).
Smith-Morris C (2006) Diabetes Among the Pima:
Stories of Survival. Tucson: University of Arizona
Press. 210 pp. $45.00 (cloth).
Tiesler V and Cucina A (eds.) (2006) Janaab’ Pakal of
Palenque: Reconstructing the Life and Death of a
Maya Ruler. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
219 pp. $50.00 (cloth).
Trigger BG (2006) A History of Archaeological
Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press.
710 pp. $31.99 (paper).
Ungar PS (ed.) (2007) Evolution of the Human Diet:
The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable.
New York: Oxford University Press. 413 pp.
$99.50 (cloth).
Urban HB (2006) Magia Sexualis: Sex, Magic, and
Liberation in Western Esotericism. Berkeley: University of California Press. 336 pp. $55.00 (cloth).
Wells J (2006) The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Washington, DC:
Regnery Publishing. 273 pp. $19.95 (paper).
Wildt DE, Zhang A, and Janssen DL (eds.) (2006)
Giant Pandas: Biology, Veterinary Medicine and
Management. New York: Cambridge University
Press. 586 pp. $120.00 (hardcover).
DOI 10.1002/ajpa.20573
Published online 1 February 2007 in Wiley InterScience
American Journal of Physical Anthropology—DOI 10.1002/ajpa
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