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Osteoarthritis and Implications for Economic Lifestyle Change in Two Prehistoric Skeletal Populations

Author(s): Alyxandra Stanco

Year: 2017

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Numerous studies have been conducted regarding the influence of activity-related stress on postcranial elements such as the upper and lower limbs, but few studies have considered the vertebral column in relation to inter-populational variation. This study examined the vertebral columns of two prehistoric skeletal populations. The Indian Knoll site (n=98), representing a population of hunter-gatherers, is located in Ohio County, Kentucky along the Green River and is dated between 2558 and 4160 B.C. The Moundville site (n=56), a chiefdom of early agriculturalists, is located in the Black Warrior River Valley in west-central Alabama and is dated between A.D. 1050 and 1520. Data were collected on type and location of pathologies to determine if economic lifestyle is associated with inter-populational differences in vertebral pathologies. Vertebrae were scored from 0-3 based on severity of osteoarthritic development. Results show that Indian Knoll had higher prevalence of osteoarthritis when compared with Moundville. Additionally, osteoarthritis was more frequent in the lumbar region followed by thoracic and cervical. Results indicate a relationship between changes in economic lifestyle and development of vertebral pathologies.

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Osteoarthritis and Implications for Economic Lifestyle Change in Two Prehistoric Skeletal Populations. Alyxandra Stanco. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428853)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15496

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