Skeletal Studies

Bones from animals and humans form an important source of information for archaeologists. They show which animals were present, which ones were used for food, and they give evidence how animals and people have changed in size and health over the centuries. They have shown that in the Viking Age a full-size cow was no larger than a calf today. People were also shorter than today’s Scandinavians.

Bone studies are a specialized field and bones excavated are submitted to zooarchaeologists or physical anthropologists for detailed studies.

In Europe, studies of human skeletons excavated from burials have provided a wealth of information about past populations: information on height, age, gender, diseases, general health, and diet of individuals. Now it is even also possible to recapture the actual face of a person via facial imaging, a set of complex laser measurements of the skull.