The Anatomy and Biology of the Human Skeleton
8.5 x 11, 304 pp.
167 plates., 15 line drawings.
Pub Date: 06/01/1988
Price:        $39.95 x


Published by Texas A&M University Press

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The Anatomy and Biology of the Human Skeleton

By D. Gentry Steele and Claud A. Bramblett

This handsome volume is the first photographically illustrated textbook to present for both the student and the working archaeologist the anatomy of the human skeleton and the study of skeletal remains from an anthropological perspective. It describes the skeleton as not just a structure, but a working system in the living body. The opening chapter introduces basics of osteology, or the study of bones, the specialized and often confusing terminology of the field, and methods for dealing scientifically with bone specimens. The second chapter covers the biology of living bone: its structure, growth, interaction with the rest of the body, and response to disease and injury. The remainder of the book is a head-to-foot, structure-by-structure, bone-by-bone tour of the skeleton. More than 400 photographs and drawings and more than 80 tables illustrate and analyze features the text describes. In each chapter structures are discussed in detail so that not only can landmarks of bones be identified, but their functions can be understood and their anomalies identified as well. Each bone's articulating partners are listed, and the sequence of ossification of each bone is presented. Descriptive sections are followed by analyses of applications: how to use specific bones to estimate age, stature, gender, biological affinities, and state of health at the time of the individual's death. Anthropologists, archaeologists, and paleontologists as well as physicians, medical examiners, anatomists, and students of these disciplines will find this an invaluable reference and textbook.

D. Gentry Steele is a professor emeritus of anthropology, Texas A&M University.Claud A. Bramblett is professor of anthropology, University of Texas at Austin.

What Readers Are Saying:

"This attractive volume is destined to be one of the best handbooks for skeletal analysis. . . . Steele and Bramblett have assembled more information about methodological issues related to skeletal inference than is available in any other recently published source. . . . The book is illustrated with more than 400 high-quality photographs. . . . This book is clearly and interestingly written, and conveniently arranged so that it can be use either as a reference for the professional, or as a textbook. . . . The book deals exclusively with human skeletal anatomy. Within this area, it is exceptionally good. . . . Current volumes are written either as reference manuals or as undergraduate textbooks. This volume combines the best features of both approaches. It is a superb book." --Academic Press Limited, Journal of Human Evolution

" . . . a welcome addition to the literature. Its scope is broad, its coverage is thorough, and its presentation is clear." --Plains Anthropologist, Vol. 35

" . . . the quality of the photographs is . . . excellent. . . . The strengths of this book lie in its systematic organization, its attention to anatomical detail, and the excellent bibliography. . . . it will also be useful for anyone dealing in human skeletal analysis. Steele and Bramblett have provided a very welcome addition to the osteology literature." --American Journal of Physical Anthropology

"The introductory chapters on skeletal anatomy and bone biology far surpass many existing human osteology manuals. The heart of the book, the chapters on individual bones, is better than many available volumes in that the authors present ossification and age changes, common variations, and general information on gender, health, and biological affinities." --American Antiquity


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