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Preliminary investigations of Human Remains from the Neolithic Gouwan Site in Henan China: Examples of trauma and stress

Author(s): Yiru Wang ; Hong Zhu

Year: 2017

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Summary

Traumatic injuries and other osseous evidence of stress are important factors that reflect the health status of past populations. Human skeletal remains excavated from the Gouwan (99 human skeletal remains in total), a Yangshao culture site (ca. 5000-3000 B.C.) in Xichuan, Henan Province were examined macroscopically for the evidence of skeletal trauma and stress using a biocultural approach. Trauma was investigated to reveal possible types, causes and rigor of activities in this sedentary agricultural community. Additionally, systemic stress indicators such as linear enamel hypoplasia, cribra orbitalia, and osteoperiostitis were also examined to explore childhood and adult lifeways. Comparing with other contemporary populations, our results show that individuals of the Gouwan site experienced elevated risk of trauma in the lower spine, especially the women, suggesting heavy physically-demanding and repetitive activities. High systemic stress in childhood also indicates harsh environmental/social living conditions at the Gouwan in the Neolithic.


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Preliminary investigations of Human Remains from the Neolithic Gouwan Site in Henan China: Examples of trauma and stress. Yiru Wang, Hong Zhu. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432002)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16498

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