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Osteoarthritis in Hands, Feet, Spine, and Temporomandibular Joint from Individuals Buried at Tiwanaku Sites in Moquegua, Peru

Author(s): Sara Becker

Year: 2017

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Summary

This study evaluated evidence of osteoarthritis in the multiple joints of the wrist and hand (ulnae, radii, carpals, and metacarpals, finger phalanges), ankle and feet (tibia, tarsals, metatarsals, foot phalanges), spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar vertebrae), and temporomandibular joint from human skeletal remains previously excavated from Tiwanaku sites within the Moquegua Valley of Peru (AD 500-1000). Osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative joint disease with a complex etiology, has been shown to occur in situations where movements are repeated frequently enough to damage joint surfaces. This skeletal condition was used to understand patterns and levels of activity from five Tiwanaku colony sites (M1, M10, M11, M43, M70). Data were collected from older juveniles and adults (n=183), cross-evaluated by age-at-death and sex, and preliminary results show differences, especially in hands, feet, and spine, between individuals from these sites. In addition, evidence of osteoarthritis in the temporomandibular joint, especially among younger folk, may be related to artificial cranial modification. Overall, these results support the idea that the site groupings represent spatial differences in occupation and that repetitive labor likely began among older subadults (10+ years) in the prehistoric Andean culture of Tiwanaku.


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Osteoarthritis in Hands, Feet, Spine, and Temporomandibular Joint from Individuals Buried at Tiwanaku Sites in Moquegua, Peru. Sara Becker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430141)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16571

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