Archaeotek Summer- What have I gotten myself into?!

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June 7th 2011
Published: June 7th 2011
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June 7th

Wow. This is going to be INTENSE! Our lecture today covered the general purpose of the skeleton, the cranium, and the axial skeleton. And by that I mean we had at least five and a half hours of straight lecture before we were allowed to get our hands on any bones. I think this is a little unusual, as the general schedule is supposed to have lecture just in the morning, and then a good four hours of lab work, which will be far preferable to the marathon we did today. I have switched my project from dental pathology to post-cranial variation, which means that I will be working with the bones that are not part of the cranium to try to identify age, sex, etc. I found out that we will not be rotating around, learning a bit about each section, but focusing on just one, and I felt that dental pathology was a little too narrow to really count as an intro to osteology. We have sooooo much to learn in a teeny amount of time, plus a ton of work to do on top of it. Everyday we have a lab packet to fill out, a minimum three-hour lecture, and four hours in the lab cleaning and identifying bones. Plus a weekly reading report and discussion group, and the final project to prepare for. Awesome. We’re working on two populations here. We have the Noua, who moved into Romania when the Classical Bronze Age here collapsed, possibly due to environmental factors. I hope to learn more about that when I get out on the dig, which I am REALLY looking forward to now. The second collection is a Roman population. I am unclear whether they are actual Romans, or if they are the remains of people that died as a result of the Roman take-over. We’ll see, I hope to be able to tell you more later. I’m going to do my homework now, but here’s an excerpt from my notes, if you’re interested in seeing them. I made some abbreviations and such, so if they’re unintelligible, well, I probably don’t know what they say either. Plus, in my defense, our prof is Quebecois and has a pretty awesome accent, so getting the words that are new spelled correctly is a bit of a challenge.


Larger, squarer, with more cusps than other teeth. Forked roots. Reduced third molars may be mistaken for premolars. Comparative more regular cusp pattern.
Upper vs. lower. Upper have three or four, lower have 4-5 but may have up to 7. Upper have rhombus shape. Lower are squarer. Upper have asym cusps, lower cusps are sym relative to crown midline. Upper have 3 roots, lower have two major roots, occ three.
Upper M1, M2, M3.
M1 have well developed cusps, rhomboid. M2 are more crenulated than M1 (more shriveled, squarer). M3 lacks a hypocone, M2 are intermediate crown between M1 and M3. M1s have three long, distinct, and divergent roots. M3s tend to have fused roots. Lack distal IPCFs. M2s are the intermediate.
Left and right. Protocone largest and hevily worn cusp. Hypocone is smallest cusp-distolingual crown corner. Lingual cusps are occlusially less prominent. Two smaller roots are rounder and set buchally.
Lower M1, M2, M3
M3 have 4 or less cusps. M3 tend to be smaller and more crenulated that M1 with more irregular cusps. M1s have two long, separate, and divergent roots. M3s have fused roots, no distal IPCFs. Distal roots are columnar in M3s. M2 are always the intermediate.
Right and left. IPCF’s are distally. All roots angle distally. Largest crown dimension is mezziodistal. Protoconyd is largest in mezziocondyle corner. Buchal cusps are occlusially less prom than other.


8th June 2011

Weil, you can always work as a dental hygienist. You must have an advantage with that quebecquois language. Sounds like work!
8th June 2011

Hmm, not a bad plan... It sure feels like work too! What did Antone do to his foot? I saw a gross photo on his facebook page!
11th June 2011

Goodness gracious! Sounds crazy intense. 5 hours of talking eh? Carpooling with Addi for a semester must have prepared you at least a little. ;) Glad to hear you are in a nice place and it sounds like you are learning a lot! xoxo

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