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Fluctuating asymmetry, developmental stress and the socioeconomic structure of an Great Moravian Early Medieval society

Author(s): Jana Velemínská ; Jan Dupej ; Lucie Bigoni ; Petr Velemínský ; Petra Fenclová

Year: 2015

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Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is thought to reflect the ability of an organism to cope with genetic and environmental stress during its development. As there is substantial literature discussing this property of FA; we evaluated additional stress indicators (enamel hypoplasia, cribra orbitalia, Harris lines) in non-adult individuals of Middle Ages... The socioeconomic structure of an early medieval society from the Mikulčice settlement (Czech Republic) was studied by applying the FA methodology on skulls We expect to find Mikulčice castle specimens to exhibit the greatest FA among higher socioeconomic groups.

The material comprises 170 adult and non-adult crania from what is presumed to be a higher socioeconomic class (Mikulčice castle) and 71 crania from middle and lower socioeconomic classes (Mikulčice sub-castle). As a comparative sample, lower socioeconomic classes (Pachner Collection) were evaluated. The three-dimensional coordinates of 68 landmarks were analyzed using shape asymmetry analysis (Bigoni et al., 2013). In males, no differences in FA were detected between Mikulčice castle and sub-castle, whereas in females the differences were significant, as the Mikulčice castle females tended to have higher values. Their FA values were similar to the highly stressed Pachner Collection sample. Supported by the project GACR 14-22823S.

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Fluctuating asymmetry, developmental stress and the socioeconomic structure of an Great Moravian Early Medieval society. Jana Velemínská, Lucie Bigoni, Jan Dupej, Petra Fenclová, Petr Velemínský. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397725)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America