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Tracing Prehistoric Activities: Musculoskeletal Stress Marker Analysis of a Stone-Age Population
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
Responsible organisation
2006 In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, ISSN 0002-9483, Vol. 129, no 1, 12-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 129, no 1, 12-23 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25390OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25390DiVA: diva2:199643
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8136Available from: 2008-09-02 Created: 2008-09-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tracing Prehistoric Activities: Life ways, habitual behaviour and health of hunter-gatherers on Gotland
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tracing Prehistoric Activities: Life ways, habitual behaviour and health of hunter-gatherers on Gotland
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the present thesis, skeletal and dental evidence of physical strain and habitual behaviour has been investigated through musculoskeletal stress markers (MSM) and extramasticatory dental wear. The skeletal and dental traits have been examined in relation to health patterns and material culture in order to gain better knowledge of life ways of hunter-gatherers on Gotland with special focus on Pitted Ware culture sites and the Ajvide site in particular. Skeletal assemblages included in the study derive from five Middle Neolithic sites on Gotland (n= 213): Ajvide, Västerbjers, Visby, Ire and Fridtorp; as well as a medieval sample from Sigtuna (n= 343).

Although inferring specific activities from particular skeletal traits is difficult, results imply that archery was performed at Ajvide, and particularly noticeable in males. Further sex and age related differences in MSM and dental wear were observed within as well as between sites, showing that there was a gendered division of labour within the Pitted Ware culture on Gotland. A correlation was furthermore observed between extramasticatory wear and periapi-cal lesions, indicating that habitual behaviour also posed a potential health hazard.

The general health of the hunter-gatherers on Gotland was poorer compared to Medieval Sigtuna, although separate health variables exhibit a more complex image of the patterns of health and activity in these populations signifying the two different ways of life. However, no direct link between physical strain and health status was found. Neither was there a clear association between patterns of eburnation lesions and MSM, although results show that factors other than age should be considered for the onset of osteoarthritis.

The study has shown both skeletal and dental evidence of physical activity and habitual behaviour in the Pitted Ware culture. It has also shown that activity patterns indeed may have consequences for the general health status of a population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur, 2008. 144 p.
Series
Theses and papers in osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1652-4098 ; 4
Keyword
Activity-related change, Musculoskeletal Stress Markers, Extramasticatory wear, dental wear, Health index, Pitted Ware culture, Neolithic, Ajvide
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8136 (URN)978-91-7155-613-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-09-19, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-02 Created: 2008-09-02Bibliographically approved

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