“Breaks new ground regarding how to think about colonial encounters in innovative ways that pay attention to a wide range of issues from health and demography to identity formations and adaptation.”—Debra L. Martin, coeditor of The Bioarchaeology of Violence
“Amply demonstrates the breadth and variability of the impact of colonialism.”—Ken Nystrom, State University of New York at New Paltz
European expansion into the New World fundamentally transformed indigenous populations. The collision between East and West led to the most recent human adaptive transition that spread around the world. Paradoxically, these are some of the least scientifically understood processes of the human past. Representing a new generation of contact and colonialism studies, Colonized Bodies, Worlds Transformed expands on the traditional focus on the health of conquered peoples by considering how extraordinary biological and cultural transformations are incorporated into the human body and reflected in behavior, identity, and adaptation.
By examining changes in diet, mortuary practices, and diseases, these globally diverse case studies demonstrate that the effects of conquest reach farther than was ever thought before—to both the colonized and the colonizers. People on all sides of the transformation became entangled in cultural and biological transformations of social identities, foodways, social structures, and gene pools at points of contact and beyond. Contributors to this volume illustrate previously unknown and variable effects of colonialism by analyzing skeletal remains and burial patterns from never-before-studied regions in the Americas to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The result is the first steps of a new synthesis of archaeology and bioarchaeology.
Melissa S. Murphy, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming, is coeditor of Enduring Conquests: Rethinking the Archaeology of Resistance to Spanish Colonialism in the Americas. Haagen D. Klaus, associate professor of anthropology at George Mason University, is coeditor of Ritual Violence in the Ancient Andes: Reconstructing Sacrifice on the North Coast of Peru.
A volume in the series Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives, edited by Clark Spencer Larsen