The formation of the principal anthropological traditions in Europe took place in the 19th century. Many anthropological institutes were established at that time, and started the collection and systematization of palaeoanthropological, and mostly craniological, samples. The main goal of such research was to examine parallels between ‘racial’ and ‘ethnic’ history. Under the influence of these traditions, before the First World War, J. Tałko-Hrynciewicz and J. Basanavicˇius started the creation of a Lithuanian craniological collection. After the First World War, this was continued by J. Žilinskas in Kaunas and M. Reicher at Vilnius University. After the war, the first Lithuanian anthropological publications appeared (Pavilonis and Cˇesnys 1974: 87). During the Second World War and the post-war turmoil, the core of these cranial collections

was still present, and, after encouragement from archaeologists, the systematic collection of new samples and analysis of materials took place in the 1960s. According to recent regulations, all human remains excavated in Lithuania are deposited at the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Anthropology at the University of Vilnius. Currently, about 15,000 skeletons or skeletal fragments dated from the Mesolithic to early modern times have been catalogued. On the basis of these materials, the extensive studies of Cˇesnys on craniometry, non-metric traits, palaeodemography, osteometry and stature reconstruction (Cˇesnys and Urbanavicˇius 1978: 195; Cˇesnys 1982: 407; 1986: 349; 1987: 9; 1988: 75), studies by Balcˇiu-niene. on dental morphology, odontology and the pathology of the masticatory apparatus (Cˇesnys and Balcˇiu-niene. 1988; Balcˇiu-- niene. 1996: 277) and by Jankauskas on the morphology of the vertebral column (Jankauskas 1992, 1994a) were undertaken. Recently, attempts have been made to apply modern techniques and methods to bioarch-

aeological studies. Recent case studies of skeletons follow the osteobiographic approach. Individualized descriptions are developed and serve as an initial database for further interpretation. Some of them are of greater significance in establishing the history of disease, and others shed light particularly on specific regions and historical contexts. Evidence of trauma (Jankauskas 1994a: 12; Teegen et al. 1997: 469), non-specific and specific infections such as tuberculosis (Jankauskas 1998: 357; 1999: 551); molecular analyses (Faerman et al. 1997: 205; Faerman and Jankauskas 2000: 57), treponematoses (Jankauskas 1989: 481; 1994b: 237), metabolic disorders

and endocrine disturbances (Jankauskas 2003: 289), dental disease (Palubeckaite. and Jankauskas 2006: 165), and diseases of the ear (Sakalinskas and Jankauskas 1991: 127) have been reported. Most of these findings are included in regular site reports for archaeologists as annexes or descriptive chapters (Jankauskas 2005: 95). Analysis and interpretation of such evidence enables palaeopathologists to reconstruct the life of an individual and in some cases to investigate the cause of death. As Lithuania has historically been the battleground of great powers, mass graves left by for-

eign armies have been uncovered and their skeletal remains examined, such as the mass graves of Napoleonic soldiers (Signoli et al. 2004: 219; Palubeckaite. et al. 2006: 355) and graves with German soldiers from the First World War (Jankauskas et al. 2007: 122). International collaborations have also been facilitated by applying modern molecular techni-

ques of analysis to detect pathogens, such as the agents of typhus and trench fever (Raoult et al. 2006: 112). Contributions of Lithuanian skeletal data into the general database of the Global Health History Project are another example of such international collaboration. Other studies have focused on population health. Peculiarities of child growth in the past have

been assessed (Šereikiene. and Jankauskas 2004: 226). Another research trend relates to the investigation of non-specific markers of ‘stress’. Pilot studies on Lithuanian skeletal material have revealed certain biological and demographic parallels in dental enamel hypoplasia and fluctuating asymmetry (Palubeckaite. and Jankauskas 2000: 133; 2001: 207; Palubeckaite. et al. 2002: 189). Other research topics have provided results about the lifestyle of the Baltic Mesolithic and

Neolithic populations (Butrimas and Jankauskas 1998: 219; Jankauskas and Palubeckaite. 2006: 149; Palubeckaite. and Jankauskas 2006: 165), their nutrition (Antanaitis-Jacobs et al. 2009: 12), ancient DNA analyses (Bramanti et al. 2009: 137), first millennium AD communities (Jankauskas 2002: 129), and mediaeval and post-mediaeval urban populations (Jankauskas and Urbanavicˇius 1998: 465). The first works on forensic anthropology in Lithuania appeared in the late 1960s (Nainys

1972). Earlier exhumations of mass graves from the Second World War, palaeoanthropological work, and examination of the remains of some prominent people encouraged research in osteology. During three decades, professor J.V. Nainys, his students and followers, carried out a great number of studies on the human skeleton, elaborating original methods for sex, stature and age estimation on almost all bones (for a summary, see Garmus and Jankauskas 1993: 5; Garmus 1993, 1996). The exhumation, subsequent analysis and identification of post-war (1944-47) KGB victims from the Tuskule.nai site in Vilnius were a challenge and employment of those methods proved their validity in most cases (Jankauskas et al. 2005: 70). To sum up, Lithuanian physical anthropology has a longstanding tradition in both bioarch-

aeology and forensic anthropology, and the contribution is recognized in the country and internationally. Significant archaeological skeletal collections can serve generations of future researchers. Traditionally, scholars with degrees in medicine were and still are working in this field, although recently there is a tendency to recruit young researchers from biology and archaeology.