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A Novel Examination of Infection Among Middle Holocene Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers of the Cis-Baikal, Siberia

Author(s): Angela Lieverse ; Samantha Purchase-Manchester ; Andrzej Weber ; Vladimir Ivanovich Bazaliiskii

Year: 2017

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This research uses novel methods to investigate infection—specifically sinusitis, otitis, and mastoiditis—and better understand physiological stress and life ways among middle Holocene hunter-fisher-gatherers fro Siberia’s Cis-Baikal region. Two hundred and fifty individuals from three cemeteries are examined, together representing two distinct biocultural periods (Early Neolithic [EN], 8000–7000/6800 BP, and Late Neolithic–Early Bronze Age [LN–EBA], 6000/5800–3400 BP) and two micro-regions (South Baikal and the Angara River Valley). An endoscope was used to document sinusitis and otitis, and a hand-held digital x-ray system was used for mastoiditis. Sinusitis was present in over two-thirds of observed individuals (70.6%), while otitis and mastoiditis (considered together) were found to be nearly ubiquitous (99.4%). The frequency of sinusitis decreased significantly from the EN to the LN–EBA, being consistent with the results of previous research on physiological stress. On the other hand, it did not appear to reflect differences in occupational phases (for the cemetery of Shamanka II, only), sex, or age at death. These new approaches to examining infection have expanded our understanding of past hunter-fisher-gatherer life ways in the middle Holocene Cis-Baikal and have opened the door for their use at other sites.

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A Novel Examination of Infection Among Middle Holocene Hunter-Fisher-Gatherers of the Cis-Baikal, Siberia. Angela Lieverse, Samantha Purchase-Manchester, Andrzej Weber, Vladimir Ivanovich Bazaliiskii. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430744)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15927

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