Dr. Rebecca J. Gilmour

biological anthropologist & archaeologist

  • Schematic Sub-Adults - Age Estimation with Canvas

    This week's osteology active learning lecture had us practicing age-estimation in juvenile skeletal material - the catch being that we didn't have much actual skeletal material to practice with! My solution? I designed and printed life-sized subadult skeletons (with clearly marked epiphyseal lines) on canvas fabric to use as schematic proxies for age estimation! Five meters of skeleton-print canvas (epiphyses included) designed by me, and printed by Spoonflower My idea for this exercise was to …

  • Dubble Bubble Tooth & Gum

    Today's osteology lecture introduced us to the dentition! As we've spent a little time already this term going over some sex estimation methods, and emphasizing how sexual dimorphism exists on a contiuum, I saw today as a perfect opportunity to not only talk about teeth and dental morphology, but also hammer home some of the concepts about sex. This activity was inspired by a cusp-morphology activity suggested in Kristina Killgrove's Human Osteology Lab Workbook A handout for my activity can be…

  • Playdoh ossification centers and growth

    One of the goals early in my human osteology and bioarchaeology course is to get students thinking about bone growth and development. How better to do this than by using Play-doh! I distributed little pots of Play-doh to the class. They then worked in groups of 2 to build either a subadult humerus or femur. They used one colour for the primary ossification center, and a second colour for the secondary ossification centers. The goal of this exercise was to get them thinking about how our bones ar…

  • Bone Biology Cupcakes

    In the early weeks of my human osteology and bioarchaeology course we had to cover a lot of terms, and a lot of ideas. Bone biology seemed to be the most daunting, and out of necessity, it was scheduled early in the term. I wanted to help the students remember the macro elements that we were discussing, so I decided (after checking for allergies) to make some illustrative cupcakes. Trabecular bone was represented by the spongey cake The first layer of (chocolate) icing represented the cortical …

  • Metacarpal Tattoos!

    Two weeks ago I introduced my human osteology & bioarchaeology class to the hand bones (along with all of the typical nmemonic devices to remember the carpals....). While they also had the opportunity to investigate the elements during lab hours, I wanted to help further solidify these elements in their memory - so we gave eachother temporary tattoos last week! There are various studies that suggest that drawing can help one better remember items (for example) - I believe that illustration can …