Download Ancient Health: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and by Mark N. Cohen, Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer PDF

By Mark N. Cohen, Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer

Twenty years in the past Mark Nathan Cohen coedited a suite of essays that set a brand new typical in utilizing paleopathology to spot tendencies in well-being linked to alterations in prehistoric know-how, economic system, demography, and political centralization. Ancient healthiness expands and celebrates that work.
Confirming past conclusions that human future health declined after the adoption of farming and the increase of civilization, this publication tremendously enlarges the geographical variety of paleopathological reviews by way of together with new paintings from either demonstrated and up-and-coming students. relocating past the western hemisphere and western Eurasia, this assortment comprises stories from Chile, Peru, Mexico, the U.S., Denmark, Britain, Portugal, South Africa, Israel, India, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Mongolia.
Adding nice value to this quantity, the writer discusses and effectively rebuts the arguments of the "osteological paradox" that lengthy have challenged paintings within the region of quantitative paleopathology, demonstrating that the "paradox" has some distance much less that means than its proponents argue.

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Extra info for Ancient Health: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and Economic Intensification

Sample text

We now know that maize is of Middle Woodland age, because plant remains from the Holding site in the American Bottom have been directly dated. But carbon isotope studies on human bone show no maize use, perhaps because very low levels of maize consumption mask isotope visibility (Riley et al. 1994; Buikstra et al. 1994). Maize consumption may have been quite restricted or even ceremonial (Fortier and Jackson 2000), and maize may well have been an exotic resource traded from warmer regions, but sourcing studies on maize in this region have not been done.

Osteoarthritis Frequency of degeneration of articular joints (particularly the vertebral joints) in the Georgia uplands is generally greater than in the contemporary Georgia coastal populations (Williamson 2000). These differences, controlling for age, suggest that the upland populations experienced greater mechanical demand 30 C. S. Larsen et al. than coastal populations. Although specific differences in lifestyle are not clear, the data suggest that upland terrain provides the greater mechanical challenge, perhaps related to carrying loads up and down hilly terrain.

Mississippian women exhibit a reduction in strength of the left humerus and forearm, a Maize and Mississippians in the American Midwest 15 result probably linked to mortar-and-pestle technology and to lessened physical requirements in maize processing (Bridges et al. 2000). Heavy labor investments in small-seed cultivation and silviculture activities (Munson 1984) may be reflected in the contrast between Woodland and Mississippian women. The failure to find significant differences between earlier and later Late Woodland components may reflect the patchwork of investment in maize cultivation that we have seen in the carbon isotope results.

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