Natasha Osing

Research Key Words:

Bioarchaeology; Human Osteoarchaeology; Urbanism; Spatial Variation; Population Dynamics; Bronze Age China

B.A., Double Major in Anthropology and Classical Studies, University of British Columbia, 2013.

M.Sc, Human Osteoarchaeology, University of Edinburgh, 2014

“Reflecting the Choices They Made: A Bio-Archaeological Study into the Sacrificial Practices of the Shang Dynasty, China”

This study aims to promote bioarchaeology in Chinese archaeology by demonstrating, through skeletal analysis, the choices that went into the practice of human sacrifice that are evident in the Late Shang dynasty royal cemetery at Xibeigang in Anyang, China. This was achieved through analyzing sixty-two sacrificial victims excavated from the cemetery in the fall of 2013. The analysis estimated sex and age and included a visual examination of the traumatic lesions present. From what was identifiable, the evaluation found that the collection contained mostly male individuals with a predominant age range of adolescents to young adults. Trauma observation identified eleven skeletal elements displaying lesions that suggest decapitation. Angle measurements were taken from each element in order to investigate how the decapitation process was conducted.

PhD Supervisor: Dr. Zhichun Jing

Conference Presentations:

Wolin, D., Osing, N., Tang, J., Tang Y. & Deng, L. (2015, April). Preliminary Results from the Bioarchaeological Investigation of Human Sacrificial Victims from China’s Late Shang Dynasty. Talk presented at the Society of American Archaeology, San Francisco, CA.

Faculty of Arts Graduate Award , 2015