An Exploration of Tactile Interaction in Osteology and Material Culture

Thomas Siek

Abstract


This paper explores the use of touch in osteology. Though this field is heavily reliant on sight, touching and handling bones provides another aspect of learning and research that complements visual inspection. I show how handling skeletal elements is central to osteological analysis by examining tactility’s prevalence in osteological practices, vocabulary and descriptions. I also review how touch as a method of learning has been employed in museum contexts and in biology classes for the blind.

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University of Victoria