view of Nemea Valley  


a website sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Humanities
and Bryn Mawr College






Sevi is a bone specialist.  She teaches in Crete, Greece, as well as working on other projects in the country.

How can you tell if a skeleton is a man or a woman?

You can tell from the shape of the pelvis, the shape of the skull, and the shape of the bones in general.

Can you tell from her bones if a woman has given birth?

That is a difficult question, but currently scientists do not think that you can tell from the bones if a woman has given birth.

How can you tell if a person was healthy?

There are some diseases that leave their evidence on the bones, but most do not.  You can tell better with teeth because tooth enamel is usually preserved, and you can see cavities, tarter, and how many teeth they lost.

Can you tell hair or eye color from bones?


How tall were the people of this time period?

Not as big as we are, but not short though.  Probably 168 cm was the average height of an adult.

How do you know how old the person was when he or she died?

You can observe changes on the skeleton that happen as people get older.  You can see how worn down the teeth are and how the bones fit together.  From these you can estimate if the person was a baby, a child, a young person, or an old person.

Did you find animal bones at this site?

Not in the tombs, but in the settlement site where these people probably lived.  We found bones of cows, pigs, sheep or goat, and red deer in pits that might have been used for trash or feasting.


Eleutheria (“El-EF-ther-ee-a”) is Sevi’s student.  She is a graduate student at Aristotle University in Thesseloniki.

How did you become interested in archaeology?

It is a field of the humanities in the Greek university system.  I was interested in paleontology (the study of dinosaurs), but then I came to really like archaeology

How many times have you come to Greece?

I live here on Crete.

How many skeletons have you excavated?

About 5 or 10.


Copyright © 2007 Johanna Best