The Ultimate Bioarchaelogy Quiz
This fascinating subfield of anthropology is filled with bones, and the people who practice it are sort of like real-life Indiana Joneses. Curious yet?
Why is it difficult to define the term bioarchaeology with perfect accuracy?
- It's such a complex field.
- Various countries use different words to describe the work that bioarchaeologists do.
- Scientists argue about what every branch of their studies should be called.
Who coined the term bioarchaeology?
- Jane Ellen Buikstra
- John Douglas
- John Grahame Douglas Clark
Bioarchaeologists often use cranial and pelvic bones to determine a person's what?
Why are bones vital to archaeological work?
- They're easy to find.
- Human flesh generally decomposes to a degree that it's not useful for scientific purposes, but bones are much hardier.
- They contain massive amounts of calcium, which provides all of the data researchers need to reconstruct past lives.
A lot of bioarchaeology work is done in cold, dry regions of the world. How come?
- These locations were filled with people long before wet, warm climates.
- Scientists enjoy working in the harshest possible conditions.
- Arid, frigid areas preserve human remains better for study purposes.
Bones provide information about how much physical labor a person performed. What are common traits of a laborer's bones?
- broken in many places
- skinnier and more fragile
- denser and stronger
What does DNA evidence help bioarchaeologists reconstruct?
- the Ice Man
- the makeup and movement of a population
Teeth that are full of cavities may point to evidence of what kind of diet?
- a diet made up primarily of protein
- a diet that contained a lot of carbohydrates
- a diet that contained way too much candy and soda
Mass spectrometers can vaporize samples of human remains. Why in the world would bioarchaeologists want to dissolve their finds?
- to locate DNA fragments
- to determine the sample's chemical composition
- to find evidence of exposure to radiation
NAGPRA is a funny-sounding acronym, but what does it stand for?
- North American Graves and Patriotic Reconciliation Act
- Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
- something really awful you don't want to know about
In what year did the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization set out to protect items of cultural heritage?
Why do some scientists oppose NAGPRA?
- They think it violates the Constitution of the United States.
- They will never again be allowed to study any artifacts tagged by NAGPRA claims.
- They don't like being nagged.
Bioarchaeologists belong to professional associations. Which of these is one of them?
- the Association of Bioarchaeological Researchers
- the Society for Native American Biological Studies
- the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Who funds the work that bioarchaeologists carry out?
- chemical corporations
- Wall Street financiers
- the National Geographic Society and similar organizations
Bioarchaeologists have reputations, but the good kind. As scientists, what are they famous for?
- being intellectually diverse but protective of their knowledge
- being averse to high-tech, analytical methods
- being open-minded and willing to share their information and ideas
What's one of the most important aspects of bioarchaeology?
- It relies solely on advanced technology.
- It provides historical context for archaeological finds.
- It employs biological rules for excavation sites.
Bioarchaeologists study a huge range of subjects. Which fields must these Renaissance men and women know a lot about?
- human anatomy
- mortuary studies
- bone analysis
- all of the above
In some countries, scientists might refer to bioarchaeology by a different name. Can you guess what it is?
- histrobiological research
- physical archaeology
- biological anthropology
Why do bioarchaeologists need a background in mortuary studies?
- to understand every aspect of ancient grave sites, including burial rituals
- so they can file the correct excavation permits with the United States government
- to avoid being grossed out by dead bodies
How is the work that bioarchaeologists perform relevant to modern societies -- that is, to the rest of us?
- It helps us understand more about who we are and where we came from.
- It provides a lot of material for National Geographic articles.
- It assists geneticists as they try to find a cure for common illnesses.