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Preliminary Investigation of Health and Stress in a Human Skeletal Population of Liangzhu Culture from Jiangzhuang Site, Xinghua, Jiangsu

Author(s): Xiaoting Zhu ; Hong Zhu ; Hua Zhang ; Dongya Yang ; Minghui Wang

Year: 2017

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Summary

This present study investigates human skeletal remains (N=108) of Jiangzhuang site from Xinghua, Jiangsu, China. Jiangzhuang, dated to the Liangzhu Culture (ca. 3400–2250 B.C.), provides a unique opportunity to explore the stress and lifeways of ancient people from the Neolithic rice agricultural community in East China, since the preservation of human remains is very rare due to the acidic soils of the region. Multiple skeletal indicators of stress were examined including oral pathologies, nonspecific indicators of nutritional and physiological disturbance (cribra orbitalia, linear enamel hypoplasia, osteoperiostitis, and activity-related osseous manifestations (osteoarthritis and entheseal changes). In conjunction with other lines of bioarchaeological evidence (stable isotopic and a DNA analyses), our results suggest that health was adversely affected in several ways, particularly considering the robust entheseal markers indicating a heavy work load. However, dental health was relatively good overall testifying the low-starch rice agriculture. This study adds to our growing understanding of the ways in which the transition to a rice agriculture changed stress exposure and life-ways of the people of Jiangzhuang in Neolithic East China.


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Preliminary Investigation of Health and Stress in a Human Skeletal Population of Liangzhu Culture from Jiangzhuang Site, Xinghua, Jiangsu. Xiaoting Zhu, Hong Zhu, Hua Zhang, Dongya Yang, Minghui Wang. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432006)


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Abstract Id(s): 16627

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