Changes in subsistence strategy have caused some of the profoundest changes to the structure and health of humans. This study aims to test whether these changes have reduced work-load as assessed by entheseal changes. Entheseal changes, formerly called musculoskeletal stress markers (MSM), are thought to reflect muscle usage throughout life (although it is widely agreed that they have a multifactorial origin). This paper uses a meta-analysis of comparable published data to plot trends in time by muscle, enthesis type and sex. The results show that agriculturalists have the lowest scores for entheseal changes, with hunter-gatherers next highest and those working...
Matos, Vítor M. J.; Santos, Ana Luísa
Leprogenic odontodysplasia (LO), also known as dens leprosus, consists of anomalous root
development of the permanent upper incisors. This dental anomaly was first reported by Danielsen in 1968 among Danish juvenile skeletons from medieval leprosaria cemeteries. As yet, no clinical cases have been documented and the etiological and epidemiological significance of the condition are poorly understood. The aim of this study is to discuss a case of LO found amongst the skeletons from the St. Jørgen’s leprosarium cemetery (13th–16th/17th centuries), housed in the ADBOU (Anthropological Database of Odense University), Southern Denmark University. A juvenile individual presents a disarticulated maxillary right central...
Henderson, Charlotte Yvette; Craps, Davina; Caffell, Anwen; Millard, Andrew; Gowland, Rebecca
Identified skeletal collections have been widely used to test methods for recording
entheseal changes. These studies have all used the occupation provided with the death
certificate or equivalent as the occupation during life. However, the variety of tasks
undertaken within occupations, the range of occupational tasks and how these changed over
the life course is rarely discussed. The aim of this paper is to highlight the value of using
historical data to improve the interpretation of skeletal data.
Materials and Methods: Identified adult skeletons (n=18), from the churchyard of St.
Michael and St. Lawrence, Fewston, North Yorkshire, England were recorded for entheseal
changes (EC) and degenerative joint changes...
Fernandes, Daniel M.; Silva, Ana M.; Donnabhain, Barra O’; Pinhasi, Don
Most studies of dental microevolution have used the standard methodologies employed in
dental anthropology: buccolingual/mesiodistal lengths and the frequencies of non-metric dental traits.
In this work we use the occlusal polygon method which is based on a polygon created by linking the four molar cusp apices using digital analysis. This method has been used to identify different evolutionary trends in Neandertal and modern humans; our objective was to assess the existence of changes
in the occlusal polygon area, and thus the general morphology of first upper molars, between two Portuguese samples from the Late Neolithic (4130 ± 90 BP) and the early 20th...
Henderson, C. Y.
Entheseal changes (ECs) have been widely recorded using visual methods, but size and
shape affect stress distribution which cannot be quantified visually. The aim of this paper is to present a simple method for quantifying size and shape by applying parameters to quantify shape and to highlight preliminary results indicating that this method provides useful data. Hypotheses tested were: common
extensor origin size correlates with humerus size; ECs change the size and shape of entheses; surface area is increased in those entheses with bony proliferation. The common extensor origins of 43 male skeletons from medieval York were recorded. The entheses were recorded...
Santos, A. L.; Gardner, M. T.; Allsworth-Jones, P.
The first inhabitants of Jamaica are now generally referred to as Taínos. It is likely that they arrived
in the island after about 650 AD and were extinct by the end of the 16th century. In 1968, during the
exploration of a small cave in Bull Savannah, St. Elizabeth parish, Dr. James Lee found two skulls,
teeth, bones, and pottery. The aim of this work is to interpret in a biocultural perspective the one
cranium with pathological lesions, such as caries sicca. This adult individual had an artificially
modified cranium, a cultural practice common among Taínos, which was studied macroscopically
and by radiological and computerized tomography....
Campanacho, Vanessa; Santos, Ana Luísa
The possible association between entheseal changes and activity has been widely
studied. However many questions remain. This study aims to assess if occupation and
physical activity influences the age at which entheseal changes appear in the iliac crest,
retroauricular area, iliac tuberosity, ischial tuberosity and obturator foramen. Absence
or presence of ossification exostosis and stress lesions was recorded in os coxae from
130 males (19 to 88 years old) from Lisbon and Coimbra identified skeletal collections.
The individuals were divided into two groups, based upon to the recorded occupations:
manual (n = 69) and non-manual (n = 61). The sample was also divided according to an
Henderson, Charlotte Yvette; Alves Cardoso, Francisca
Alves Cardoso, Franscisca; Henderson, Charlotte Yvette
Identified skeletal collections, i.e .skeletons for which sex, age at death and occupation at death are known, have been used to test methods for recording entheseal changes (EC). By testing methods on identified collections the sensitivity of EC for recording activity levels can be ascertained prior to applying the methods to test hypotheses in archaeological contexts. However, the definition of occupational categories used for this research may, in itself, be a source of bias. The aim in this study was to test how categorizing occupation affected the interpretation of EC. Male skeletons (n=211) from two Portuguese identified skeletal collections were...
Curate, Francisco; Assis, Sandra; Lopes, Célia; Silva, Ana Maria
Fractures are ubiquitous in the archaeological record but the majority of these are the consequence of a traumatic incident and do not reflect any loss of strength inherent to the bone. So-called
fragility fractures, particularly hip fractures, are considered uncommon occurrences in skeletal populations from the past. Nevertheless, evidence of this type of fracture in the archaeological record is
increasing. A methodical search for possible hip fractures in the excavation reports, theses and monographs housed in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Coimbra presented an occasion
to describe six hip fractures, previously unpublished, from different Portuguese archaeological sites
and to challenge the...
Umbelino, Cláudia; Santos, Ana Luísa; Assis, Sandra
Identified osteological collections are important sources for pathological studies, especially
when the causes of death of the individuals are known. However, the individual may have suffered
from other disorders, not related to the death and thus absent from written record of death. The aims
of this paper are to describe the pathological signs perceptible on a skeleton, and to consider the possible
aetiologies beyond the recorded cause of death. Skeleton number 470 belongs to the Identified
Skeletal Collection of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. This female died in 1933, and pulmonary
tuberculosis was recorded as the cause of death. The skeleton was observed macroscopically by the
Lopes, Célia; Powell, Mary Lucas; Santos, Ana Luísa
Syphilis is a chronic infection that is categorized by a three-stage progression. The tertiary stage may affect
bones and produce distinctive skull lesions called caries sicca. This paper aims to present an unusual case of syphilis
associated with a diagnosis of cirrhosis, which was recorded as the cause of death in a 28-year-old female in 1899.
The appearance and distribution of the lesions were compatible with acquired syphilis, as observed in the skull from
the Medical Schools Collection of the University of Coimbra. However, the cause of death was recorded as “hypertrophic
cirrhosis of the liver”, this is a condition that is compatible with several...
Matos, Vítor; Santos, Ana Luísa
In the last 20 years, studies on human identified skeletal collections have revealed a significant relationship between new bone formation on the visceral surface of ribs and pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). To improve methods of differential diagnosis of respiratory diseases in archaeological skeletons, an investigation was conducted on 197 individuals from the Human Identified Skeletal Collection of the Museu Bocage (Lisbon, Portugal). This sample included 109 males and 88 females who lived during the 19th-20th centuries, with ages at death ranging from 13-88 years. The skeletons were grouped according to cause of death: 1) pulmonary TB (N = 84); 2) pulmonary...