Review of Skeletal Biology in the Great Plains: Migration, Warfare, Health, and Subsistence, edited by Douglas W. Owsley and Richard L. Jantz. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994. 415 pages.
Date of this Version
American Indian Culture and Research Journal (1995) 19(2): 216-220.
The editors and contributors to this large, impressive volume present thirty-two chapters that deal with Great Plains skeletal biology. The goal of these diverse investigations was to derive critical information from human skeletal remains about past inhabitants of the Plains, including prehistoric and historic Indians, as well as Euro-Americans. These contributions are organized topically into five parts: (1) archaeology; (2) demography and paleopathology; (3) biological distance measures and skeletal morphology; (4) diet and subsistence strategies; and (5) warfare. The studies represent the collaborative efforts of archaeologists, physical anthropologists, ethnologists, ethnohistorians, and physical scientists. A major impetus for these analyses was the pending reinterment in 1986 of Plains Indian remains belonging to the W.H. Over Museum collection in South Dakota.