Essays in Anthropology: Variations on a Theme

Similarly, snow can only make things cold because it is its nature to be cold. Experience shows that if I am cold and thirsty, my desires for warmth and drink.

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I was impressed with the quality of the photographs and the many angles that were depicted of each element. I was less impressed with the line drawings- some were okay and others were less than optimal.

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Although I did just criticize the drawings, I will say that some of the drawings of fragments of cranial materials have a great potential as a teaching guide. Also, some of the detailed information about the shape of a foremen or direction of blood vessels is incredibly useful because in real life burial recovery situations sometimes all you have are fragments. I can't see this information changing much at all anytime soon. Furthermore, in this format it is portable, and the photographs are clear, with multiple angles, that I think it could be easily navigated and consulted in a field work situation, i.

The textual part of the book was written in a clear voice, and the photographs that were here were also very informative as many angles were shown. The line drawings and diagrams could be more easy to understand -- perhaps more attention in labeling of characteristics that were discussed in the narrative is definitely in order.

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In many places, I wanted to search out open access images to see if I could find something that I could use to demonstrate the description as stated in in words to accompany the text. More pictures, more diagrams with labels and scale would make this book better. The captions under the photographs were sometimes confusing. Particularly problematic is the use of the words 'left' and 'right' below two angles of the same element. When the caption said left or right it was referring to the directions in the photograph but could easily be mistaken to infer that each view was actually the left or the right side of the human skeleton.

The terminology is consistent and expected which is an important part of this curriculum. Just learning the new focal language is a significant part of the early introduction to osteology. The order of the figures could more consistently follow the relevant text. If I was able to move the photos around in this document so that they followed directly after the narrative this would be a much better tool. Another option would be to key the figures out with numbers and then placing those in the text for the reader would also work.

I can absolutely pick and choose to assign some parts and not others of this textbook and I will.

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Some of it is too detailed for my curriculum and I can easily avoid assigning those sections. Furthermore, I think this text could be used as a module to reference to in any undergraduate physical anthropology curriculum.

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  7. Other than the disjuncture with the figures and the text and the desire for more images I thought the organization and flow was sensical and followed an expected trajectory building on concepts logically. I had no issues with the interface. I could not attach it to an email to myself but I could transfer it to my tablet with google docs when I wanted to read it while traveling.

    The book was grammatical.

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    There were a few typos, just a few, but they did not in deter from the communication of the idea being presented. The field of human osteology is inherent with the tension of a history of cultural insensitivities. I was pleased with the way the book addressed the question of racial determination in the skeleton and stressed that there was variance in human populations and that racial determination is imprecise.

    I though it could have stressed more that race itself is a social construct especially when it referred to questions that might be asked by authorities who would ask for this kind of information. When it did give cultural identifiers it was matter of fact observations such as 'shovel-shaped incisors', effects of cradle boarding, Inca line, that seemed more matter of fact. I was glad to not see the term 'Caucasian' used and wonder if 'Mongoloid' which is still used, is acceptable and why this racist language still exists in the discipline.

    Also, because of some of the historical practices of physical anthropologists and medical researchers, certain people are sensitive to the use of human remains in visual depictions.

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    Would it be responsible to identify that these photos were of a person that had consented to this treatment of their remains? I don't know the answer to this questions but I think that it is worthy to ask if we should have a higher standard of responsible professional reflexivity when putting these images on display.

    Module details

    This book is an introductory book. As such, it does a good job of introducing the overall morphology of bones and the vocabulary of human osteology. I think that few edits would greatly improve the comprehensiveness of the book. TEXT: I really TEXT: I really liked the presence of particular sections of the text including the paragraph on handling a skull.

    It would be great to include a similar section for the postcranial skeleton. I also really liked the table of vertebral characteristics. This is very useful for students to learn how to identify isolated vertebrae. It might be good to mention the homology of the coccyx with caudal vertebrae. It would be nice to define a few terms mentioned in the text e. The text mentions that some features of the limb bones can be used to side them but it is not specified how.

    It would be good to add this information. This was beautifully done for the bones of the wrists and the ankle. It would be useful to mention the homology of the mandible with the dentaries of non-humans. This would help emphasize the great degree of fusion of these bones in humans. Numerous muscles are mentioned in the text but their function is not often provided. It would be nice to add such information, even in a very abbreviated form, to help students understand the link between skeleton and musculature.

    FIGURES: Adding labels to existing figures as well as new figures would allow students to study more specific aspects of human bone morphology including foramina, processes, etc that are mentioned in the text but not labeled on figures. It would also be helpful to add anatomical directions to the figures, especially those of isolated elements of the cranium.

    A few other figures are missing captions and some captions are incomplete. Thus, I would love to see a diagram or photo to better explain anatomical directions, movement, and the basic morphology of teeth. I would also like a diagram or photo of a fully articulated skeleton, similar to that on the cover, but with the bones labeled.

    I think that the text would also benefit greatly from the addition of illustrations of the pathological conditions students could encounter, especially since specimens exhibiting these pathologies may not always be available in the lab for first hand observations. Most importantly, I would like to see a line drawing of the skull with bones labelled. Such drawing could also include labels for foramina and structures. Some elements are illustrated isolated but labelled views of the whole skull would allow students to visualize the relationship among bones and structures and help understand the list of cranial articulations provided. Another drawing with the landmarks used for measuring and the measurements labeled would also be useful. The textbook is very accurate. The only think I noticed is the inclusion of the sacrum in the pelvic girdle, which can be a little bit confusing. I would move it to the section on the axial skeleton. This introductory textbook is up-to-date. This knowledge is unlikely to change.

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    The osteology of humans has been studied for a very long time and is a well established. This textbook will need little updating. The text is well written. Anatomical descriptions are often fairly dry. This textbook is easy to read. I liked the many lists and bulleted section of the text. They do not drown the information in a narrative and are easy to reference. There are some terms throughout the text that are not defined but probably should be e.

    There are a few words that are not spelled consistently e. This text can very easily divided into different sections. It is always hard to isolated the different parts of the human skeleton from one another because of the relationships between the different parts of the body. However, it would be easy to use this textbook in tackling isolated components of the skeleton. It would be even easier if a table of content and an index were provided.

    The book could also use some more bold font, underlining, etc. I wish the figures would be numbered and referenced in the text to better connect the text, lists … with the figures and also allow the index to reference the figures. Many figures lack a scale.