Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Forensic Anthropology Option)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Meradeth Snow

Commitee Members

Dr. Kirsten Mink-Green, Dr. Tobin Shearer,


Terry Collection, Index of Care, Bioarchaeology of Care


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Biological and Physical Anthropology


Utilizing the bioarchaeology of care model, this research formulates a model of care based on ethnohistorical and skeletal markers of pathologic conditions. The index of care is the method used to create models of care, and this requires social, cultural, economic, environmental, and mortuary contexts to determine the resources required to aid a person through injury or disability. This paper investigates the impact of known medical, occupational, and morgue records that accompanied each selected individual in the skeletal collection. This additional information, beyond what is gained from skeletal analysis, generates a complex model of care. A more complex model of care can better estimate cost of care, length of care, and resource requirements and availability. Information provided by the records allows for a better understanding of the individual’s life and care received. Such learnings can better inform on how individuals of the past understood and treated people with disabilities or impairment. Utilizing the pathologic lesions on the skeletal remains, coupled with the associated individual records, eight individuals were selected from The Terry Collection, currently housed at the Smithsonian Institution. Completed models of care for each individual are examined to evaluate the impact of written documentation on the finished model. Additionally, this paper investigates whether the documentation provided informs on the financial cost of care in addition to social cost or length of care. Studying multiple models of care built around individuals from different time periods can illuminate how caregiving has evolved to modern-day standards.



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