Becoming Bioarchaeology? Traditions of Physical Anthropology and Archeology in Armenia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


“Bioarchaeology” has recently made its way into publications and presentations on the physical anthropology and archeology of Armenia. Like other regions discussed in this book, bioarchaeology has been heralded as a new and important approach to analyze skeletal remains that moves away from typology toward historical reconstruction of human behavior. Yet, the questions asked, discussions, and presentation of skeletal analysis look quite different from Western—and particularly American—bioarchaeology. This chapter explores the history of the physical anthropology of skeletal materials from Armenia, tracing the major debates and interpretations from the late nineteenth century, through Soviet ethnogenesis, to recent trends that have shaped the discipline within Armenia today. In each major period of research, the ways that physical anthropologists have analyzed skeletal remains and interpreted past peoples have shifted. Thus, while the question of Armenian origins has remained a constant theme; the different approaches in each period of research have allowed for distinctly different claims about the relationship between populations in the past and the present. These ways of thinking about the past in relation for the present have implications for how bioarchaeology is and can be incorporated into the analysis of archeological human remains in Armenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringerBriefs in Archaeology
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringerBriefs in Archaeology
ISSN (Print)1861-6623
ISSN (Electronic)2192-4910


  • (Soviet) ethnogenesis
  • Armenia
  • Identity
  • Indo-European
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology


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