Dr. Rebecca J. Gilmour

biological anthropologist & archaeologist

  • Cranial Articulation Spiders and MNI

    In today's osteology/bioarchaeology class we worked started to learn about the cranium, with one of the objectives being to think about the cranium in its 3D space, and learn what articulates where. It's definitely a complex set of structures, so I thought I'd break it down into smaller chunks and represent the cranium as a schematic. Once I got going, I saw that there was the potential to also teach about how bioarchaeologists estimate minimum number of individuals (MNI)! In preparation for thi…

  • 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 …