Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Ward; porosity; anemia; cribra; hyperostosis; paleodemography; porotic
Osteological observations interpreted as evidence for anemia (porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia) have been used to interpret health and diet of past populations. These observations have contributed significantly to arguments that a deterioration of human health over time can be attributed to the adoption of agricultural subsistence practices and increased settlement aggregation. This study utilized a sample (n=110) from the Ward site (15Mcl11), a pre-agricultural, fisher-hunter-gatherer cemetery site dated to the Archaic Period in Kentucky, a part of the Shell Midden Archaic cultural complex. The impact of porotic alteration on differential mortality was assessed using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. The Ward sample exhibited high incidence of porotic alteration (n=90). Survival curves illustrated reduced survival for children exhibiting cribra orbitalia, but limited measureable impact of porotic hyperostosis on adult mortality. These results suggest that the selective pressure imposed by porotic hyperostosis might be inextricable from that of other variables influencing mortality.
Warren, Austin, "Charting a course through confusion: mapping pathological cranial lesions in an Archaic population from Kentucky." (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3400.