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Ref ID: 19793
Ref Type: Book
Authors: Tilley, Lorna
Title: Theory and practice in the bioarchaeology of care
Date: 2015
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: Abstract: Characteristics of the care given to those experiencing disability provide a window into important aspects of community and culture. In bioarchaeology, health-related care provision is inferred from physical evidence in human remains indicating survival with, or recovery from, a disabling pathology, in circumstances where, without such support, the individual may not have survived to actual age at death. Yet despite its potential to provide a valuable perspective on past behaviour, caregiving is a topic that has been consistently overlooked by archaeologists. Theory and Practice in the Bioarchaeology of Care presents the ‘bioarchaeology of care’ - a new, case study-based approach for identifying and interpreting disability and health-related care practices within their corresponding lifeways context that promises to reveal elements of past social relations, socioeconomic organisation, and group and individual identity that might otherwise be inaccessible. The applied methodology, supported by the Index of Care (a freely-available web-based instrument), consists of four stages of analysis, with each stage building upon the content of preceding one(s): these stages cover (i) description and diagnosis
(ii) assessment of disability impact and the corresponding case for care
(iii) derivation of a ‘model of care’ provided
and (iv) interpretation of the broader implications of the provision and receipt of this care. This book looks first at the treatment of health-related caregiving in archaeological research, considering where, and why, this has fallen short. Succeeding chapters establish the context and the conceptual foundations for undertaking bioarchaeological research into care provision, including defining and operationalising terminology surrounding ‘disability’ and ‘care’
examining debate around social and biological origins of care, and considering the implications for addressing caregiving motivations and practice
and presenting a theoretical framework for exploring the collective and individual decision-making processes involved in caregiving. Two chapters then detail the four stages of the bioarchaeology of care methodology and application of the Index of Care, and these are followed by three case studies that illustrate the methodology’s application. These chapters explore, respectively, the care given to Man Bac Burial 9 (Neolithic Vietnam), the Neandertals La Chapelle-aux-Saints 1 and La Ferrassie 1 (European Upper Middle Palaeolithic), and Lanhill Burial 7 (early British Neolithic), and they demonstrate the variety, richness and immediacy of insights attainable through bioarchaeology of care analysis. Most importantly, these studies confirm that the bioarchaeology of care’s focus on caregiving as an expression of collective and individual agency allows an engagement with the past that brings us closer to those who inhabited it. The final chapter discusses some future directions for bioarchaeology of care research, and considers how research findings might inform modern values and practices.
Date Created: 4/27/2016