I was recently invited to write a review of socio-economic determinants of human bone health from the perspective of historical and archaeological evidence (i.e. studying human remains in a socio-economic framework). I invited my PhD student Karen Cooke who has background in genetics to cu-author the paper with me so that we could include epigenetics in our review. Our paper was accepted for publication in Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism today! I am very excited because we propose a model for incorporating ancient (medieval) human skeletal data into clinical communication with patients who have increased bone fragility - biological anthropology making its way into public health and medicine discussions!
Miszkiewicz JJ, Cooke K. (In Press 2019). Socio-economic determinants of bone health from past to present. Clinical Reviews in Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Over the course of my career I have experienced, as most of us researchers probably have, a bunch of disappointments. What's fascinating, is that now in hindsight when I look back at these disappointments... I wouldn't have it any other way as they appear to have created long term success further down the line. I often chat to colleagues and students about their disappointments as well. I have noticed that everyone has different strategies to cope with setbacks in career, and so I wrote up a piece about my own adaptability and pitched it to Nature. A wonderful Nature Careers editor, named Jack Leeming, got back to me and proposed to work with me on the piece so that we can polish it up. The final result is now published here, have a read and see what you think... if it resonates with you, then I am pleased that there are more of us with a positive outlook on academia!
"The Spice Islands in Prehistory" is out today! This is the first and only title covering Moluccan archaeology. The volume is edited by Emeritus Professor Peter Bellwood at the ANU, who a couple of years ago invited me and my masters student Bronwyn Wyatt to work on some of the human skeletal material he and his team had excavated in the Moluccas. Bronwyn and I co-authored a chapter that looked at skeletal markers of systemic stress and potential longer-term growth and mortality outcomes in late prehistoric Maluku Utara. You can download the book here, and our chapter here.
New interesting paper looks at gender specific labour using forensic methods & material culture - my thoughts for ABC news
I was recently approached by the ABC to comment on a new interesting paper that reconstructed gender specific labour from fingerprints left by ancient Puebloans on pieces of pots. The finding was that both males and females may have made equal contribution to pottery making. This challenges fixed and static roles that we assume are usually assigned to gender. I think it's a great finding, and the paper is innovative in how it uses a forensic method of fingerprint analysis to reconstruct the sex of pot makers. I do highlight that reconstructing gender and sex in past societies is very complex. In bioarchaeology, in particular, we are certainly moving towards improving our understanding and definition of gender identity and biological sex expression (this book is a great example). You can view the ABC article here:
Ancient fingerprints and forensic science challenge ideas about 'women's work' in Ancestral Puebloan society