ERA

Research Materials (Anthropology)

This collection contains unpublished research literature (grey literature) and other items associated with research from the Department of Anthropology.
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  1. Occlusal macrowear, antemortem tooth loss, and temporomandibular joint arthritis at Predynastic Naqada [Download]

    Title: Occlusal macrowear, antemortem tooth loss, and temporomandibular joint arthritis at Predynastic Naqada
    Creator: Lovell, Nancy C
    Description: This paper is based on the results of an examination of crania and mandibles from three cemeteries at Predynastic Naqada, which were excavated by Petrie in 1895. These remains are curated as part of the Duckworth Collection at the University of Cambridge. Patterns of occlusal macrowear, antemortem tooth loss, and lesions of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are described, and are discussed in the contexts of diet and the biomechanics of mastication. The incomplete nature of most of the dentitions restricted the assessment of the pathological conditions, but no statistically significant differences were observed in the prevalence of TMJ arthritis between males and females, nor between elite and non-elite cemetery samples. Furthermore, antemortem tooth loss and occlusal wear were not associated with TMJ lesions.
    Subjects: ancient Egypt, dental disease, TMJ
  2. Dental disease at ancient Mendes (Tell er-Rub'a) Egypt [Download]

    Title: Dental disease at ancient Mendes (Tell er-Rub'a) Egypt
    Creator: Lovell, Nancy C
    Description: Extensive excavations at Tell er-Rubca (ancient Mendes) have documented aspects of the city's political and cultic significance and its development over several millennia, but much less is known about the inhabitants of the city themselves. This paper presents an analysis of dental health as exhibited by human remains recovered from the site by the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and the University of Alberta. Permanent teeth from 69 individuals were examined for evidence of infectious dental disease (caries and periapical abscesses), calculus, antemortem tooth loss, and the severity of occlusal tooth wear. One-third of the individuals displayed evidence of carious lesions (cavities), although most affected individuals had only one affected tooth. More females had carious lesions than did males, a difference that is not statistically significant. Seventeen per cent of those individuals with associated jawbone fragments show evidence of periapical abscess formation (a not uncommon sequel to a carious lesion), although no sex difference was observed. The frequencies of caries and abscesses in this sample are consistent with the consumption of a high carbohydrate diet. More than two-thirds of the adults are affected by supra-gingival calculus, which is sometimes referred to as tartar. In this sample, calculus is correlated with alveolar resorption, the latter condition a bony response to periodontitis. Both abscessing and alveolar resorption are implicated in the antemortem loss of teeth. Tooth wear is pronounced, with sex differences between middle-aged males and females identified. Despite difficulties of interpretation caused by small sample sizes and preservation issues, the results of this analysis are consistent with other published reports of dental palaeopathology among ancient Egyptians. In essence, molar crown wear, particularly among older individuals, tends to be pronounced and the pattern of dental disease is consistent with a diet high in carbohydrates that likely included bread and naturally sweet and sticky foods such as dried fruits and honey.
    Subjects: ancient Egypt, paleopathology, dental disease
    Date Created: 2012/10/30
  3. Mesolithic Human Remains from the Gangetic Plain: Sarai Nahar Rai [Download]

    Title: Mesolithic Human Remains from the Gangetic Plain: Sarai Nahar Rai
    Creator: Kennedy, Kenneth A. R.
    Subjects: Bioarchaeology, India
    Date Created: 1986
  4. Report on the Human Remains from the Sodo Tumuli and Circolo I and from Terontola Examined at the MAEC in May, 2010 [Download]

    Title: Report on the Human Remains from the Sodo Tumuli and Circolo I and from Terontola Examined at the MAEC in May, 2010
    Creator: Lovell, Nancy C.
    Description: This report presents the results of the examination of Roman-period skeletal remains of 13 individuals from the Sodo Tumuli, plus one intrusive burial at Circolo I (now on display in the Museo dell’Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona), and one individual from Terontola. Largely due to preservation problems, useful biological data could be obtained from only nine individuals. The remains of the intrusive burial at Circolo I are those of a young adult female. We were able to examine only her skull and teeth, but noted one carious lesion in a molar tooth as well as evidence of episodic systemic stress during her childhood, as indicated by lines of linear enamel hypoplasia. The remains recovered from the Sodo Tumuli included those of five young adults, two middle-aged adults, and one adult of indeterminate age and sex. Three of the young adults were female; two young adults and the two middle-aged adults were male. The most common pathological conditions were dental disease (caries, abscesses, calculus, and antemortem tooth loss), with minimal expressions of arthritis and trauma. One individual exhibited porotic hyperostosis, a condition usually associated with chronic anemia. The pattern of dental disease is consistent with a diet high in carbohydrates, such as processed cereals and perhaps dried fruits and honey. Unusual tooth wear in two individuals suggests that they may have used their teeth in craft or other habitual activities. The individual from Terontola is an older adult male. He suffered a serious fracture of the right hip many years prior to his death, and exhibited pronounced bony attachments for the flexor muscles of the hand that suggest habitual grasping activity during his lifetime. Many of his teeth had been lost antemortem, and the few teeth that were still in occlusion were severely worn. RIASSUNTO Questo rapporto presenta i risultati dell'esame del periodo romano-scheletrici resti di 13 persone dal Tumuli del Sodo, più una sepoltura intrusiva al Circolo I (ora in mostra nel Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona), e una individuale da Terontola. In gran parte a causa di problemi di conservazione, i dati biologici utili potrebbero essere ottenuti a partire da soli nove individui. I resti della sepoltura intrusiva al Circolo I sono quelli di una femmina giovane adulto. Siamo stati in grado di esaminare solo la sua testa e denti, ma ha rilevato una lesione cariose in un dente molare così come evidenza di episodi di tensione sistemica durante la sua infanzia, come indicato dalle linear enamel hypoplasia. I resti recuperati dalla Tumuli Sodo compresi quelli di cinque giovani adulti, due adulti di mezza età, e un adulto di età indefinita e sesso. Tre dei giovani adulti erano donne, due giovani e due adulti di mezza età era di sesso maschile. Le condizioni patologiche più comuni sono le malattie dentali (carie, ascessi, calcolo, e la perdita dei denti ante mortem), con espressioni minime di artrite e traumi. Un individuo esposto porotic hyperostosis, una condizione solitamente associata ad anemia cronica. Il modello di malattia dentale è compatibile con una dieta ricca di carboidrati, come cereali trasformati e, forse, frutta secca e miele. Usura dei denti inusuale in due individui suggerisce che essi potrebbero avere utilizzato i loro denti in artigianale o altre attività abituale. L'individuo da Terontola è un maschio adulto di età. Ha subito una grave frattura dell'anca destra molti anni prima della sua morte, ed espone pronunciato allegati osseo per i muscoli flessori della mano che suggeriscono abituale attività cogliere durante la sua vita. Molti dei suoi denti erano stati persi ante mortem, e pochi denti che erano ancora in occlusione sono stati gravemente usurati.
    Subjects: paleopathology, Roman archaeology, bioarchaeology, dental anthropology
    Date Created: 2015/09/23
  5. Tiptoeing through the rest of his life: A functional adaptation to a legshortened by femoral neck fracture [Download]

    Title: Tiptoeing through the rest of his life: A functional adaptation to a legshortened by femoral neck fracture
    Creator: Lovell, Nancy C.
    Description: Salvage excavation of a Roman cemetery (1st–2nd century CE) at the site of ancient Erculam (region ofCampania), Italy, yielded the skeleton of an older male with a healed fracture of the femoral neck thatreduced the femoral neck angle and resulted in leg shortening. The right foot shows bony alterations thatappear to have developed as a consequence. The distal joint surfaces of the first and second metatarsalsextend dorsally for articulation of the proximal phalanges in hyper-dorsiflexion. I argue that, in orderto compensate for the shortened leg, the man lengthened it functionally by bearing weight primarilyon his toes when he walked, rather than striking the heel first and then pushing off from the toe. Theseverity of degenerative joint disease in the right knee and in the metatarsophalangeal joints suggeststhat the injury occurred years before the man’s death. This case adds to the bioarchaeological record ofindividuals who adapted to impaired mobility in the past, and it may be of interest to scholars who studythe bioarchaeology of impairment and disability.
    Subjects: paleopathology, Roman archaeology
    Date Created: 2016/04/01
  6. Skeletal Paleopathology of Human Remains From Cemetery R37 at Harappa, excavated in 1987 and 1988 [Download]

    Title: Skeletal Paleopathology of Human Remains From Cemetery R37 at Harappa, excavated in 1987 and 1988
    Creator: Lovell, Nancy C.
    Description: Excavations at the archaeological site of Harappa, Pakistan in 1987 and 1988 uncovered the remains of at least 92 adults, although only 19 were complete skeletons in primary contexts. One additional adult skeleton, excavated in 1967 and displayed in the Harappa Museum, also was examined. This report describes the frequencies and expressions of pathological lesions in the skeletons of these individuals (joint disease, trauma, congenital and developmental disorders, hematopoietic disorders, infection and inflammation, metabolic disorders, and neoplasia) and provides detailed descriptions and photographic illustrations of the lesions. Of the 20 complete adult remains, 14 exhibited pathological lesions on bones. The most common condition was joint disease, which affected 10 individuals, mainly in the spine; followed by trauma, which affected five individuals. Periosteal reactions on long bones, benign osteomas on the cranium, and two possible cases of anomalous development of the skeleton (cranium and pelvis) were also noted.
    Subjects: paleopathology, Harappa, Indus civilization, Harappan civilization
    Date Created: 2014