Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and Osteological Human Remains

Head of the Laboratory: Francisca Alves Cardoso

Location: Edifício ID, NOVA FCSH, Av. Berna, 26, 1069-061 Lisboa


LABOH (Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and Osteological Human Remains) began as an incubator of undergraduate internships in the field of Biological Anthropology at the Anthropology Department of NOVA FCSH. It served as an introductory platform to methods and techniques used in the analysis of human osteology, and its subsequent application in the reconstruction of past disease and behavioural patterns, as well as in Forensic Anthropology.

After four years of activity, LABOH has now a renewed physical space and aspires to new goals. It is in an early phase of implementation and hopes to be an experimental and innovative laboratory in the study of humans aiming to combine methods and techniques used in distinct fields of research (e.g. Digital Sciences, Art Sciences, Technological Sciences, among others).

LABOH’s main goals are:

  • The study of humans and human populations through an interdisciplinary approach, cross-referencing biological data with environmental, cultural and social factors;
  • The introduction of innovative approaches promoting the development of Anthropology in Portugal, namely Biological Anthropology.

Presently, LABOH’s research lines focus on the study of human osteological remains, specifically:

  1. Ethical and legal issues related to the use of human osteological remains –gathered from archaeological and forensic contexts, or associated with identified collections –in teaching and research activities;
  2. The interpretation of the past through the paleobiological analysis of human remains and fossil materials, crossing several disciplinary fields on a comparative basis: paleopathology, paleodemography, human variability, paleoanthropology and primatology;
  3. The discussion of methods and techniques used in the design of biological profiles (i.e. age at death and sexual diagnosis) and the categorisation of individuals;
  4. Issues related to the biology of bone tissues, including biomolecular and histological data, and its interconnections with health and disease in the past and the present;
  5. The interpretation of ethnographic and archival data as complementary to the osteological analysis in the reconstruction of past behavioural and health patterns.