This paper examines the normative temporal, spatial, ethnoracial and distributional frameworks to which identified skeletal populations are subjected. A brief review of several identified skeletal collections illustrates current efforts toward developing contextualized human biology studies. At the same time, these studies are used to examine how categories in which data continue to be organized are suggestive of static and/or typological classification schemes. In doing so, the discussion addresses how these normativities undermine critical and humanistic approaches to studying human biology. This includes how the continued privileging of normal population distributions obscure the social, political and historical moments reflected in non-random distributions within and between identified skeletal collections. In the broadest context, this paper illustrates how studies of identified human skeletal collections are playing an increasingly prominent role in the integration of social theory into human biology studies.
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