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Author(s): Lana Williams ; Jane Masséglia

Year: 2015

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Skeletal remains from Sankuş Mevkiinde Tomb (Late Roman, AD 200–300) at Pessinus, Turkey included 12 adult males with asymmetrical, robust definition of the peroneal trochlea extending outward (>1 cm) from the lateral calcaneus and situated between the peroneus longus and brevis tendons, nine of which are on the right calcaneus. Adult females did not exhibit this variation. Asymmetrical variation suggests repeated biomechanical eversion of the foot and plantar flexion of the ankle on the side affected when recovering from crouching and kneeling on one knee. Biomechanical stress laterality is also reflected in knee, wrist, and elbow joints of the same individuals, but not in shoulder joints. Right-preference laterality (90-92%) in humans indicates primary use of the right hand-right leg for a specific kneeling task. Roman tombstones for local males depict vine-hooks and handpicks (cf. weaving apparatus for females). Intensive use of these tools in tending vines is consistent with stresses in wrists and elbows and gender imbalance within the sample. Enduring local practices of tending untrained vines at ground-level account for indications of repetitive kneeling in the same individuals. This holistic view of biomechanical stress and ancient iconography reconstructs techniques and gendered division of labor in ancient viticultural practice.

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TENDING THE VINES: BIOMECHANICAL EVIDENCE OF LATERALITY AND GENDERED LABOR DIVISION IN VITICULTURE AT PESSINUS, TURKEY. Lana Williams, Jane Masséglia. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397757)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

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