Anthropology 2229F/G Study Guide - Final Guide: Tooth Enamel, C4 Carbon Fixation, C3 Carbon Fixation

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Anthropology 2229G Final Exam Review Part 2
Human Remains & Subsistence Practices
Skeleton preserves record of your lifestyle/diet
Bone chemistry
o Varies due to diet
o Introduced in the 1980s
o Isotopic Analysis
Stable carbon isotopes
13C: 12C ratio to find out what the diet was like, reflects dietary
o Isotopic Fractionation
Some plants prefer 14C instead of other carbon isotopes
Can correct for the effects of this
Diet: varies on what carbon isotope the plant preferred
o Isotope Analysis
C4 Plants
Higher ratios of 13C: 12C
Tend to be major staples of the diet, e.g. maize in the New
World and millet in the Old World
C3 Plants
Lower 13C: 12C ratio
Virtually every other plant
Ratio called Delta 13 (13) ratios
C4 plants = -8 - -14
C3 plants = -23 - -30
The more you eat the more it appears in the bones
Reflects what was eaten in the last 5-10 years of life because
bones are constantly remodeled through life
Teeth reflect what was eaten while the teeth were being
formed (childhood)
Can see differences in diet between childhood and adulthood
Differences between marine and terrestrial foods
o More reliant on marine foods = higher 13C ratio
o Growth and Development
Growth Rate
How fast do people mature? How fast to bones grow?
Must be compared at the same life stage
Pre-agriculturalists vs. agriculturalists
o Hunter-gatherers were healthier than agriculturalists,
bones matured faster
o Agriculture is focused on specific foods, leads to a less
wholesome diet
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Height is dependent on nutrition; generally, better fed people
are taller
Difference in the elite: elite are taller on average than the
commoners, indicates they had more access to better foods
Dietary stress effects the bones
Adult bones maintain a record of stress from childhood
Porotic Hyperostosis
o Effects the cranium
o Porous depressions, honeycomb effect
o Expansion of blood forming tissues
o Response to anemia, occurs in populations with an iron
poor diet such as those reliant on maize
Interruptions in long bone growth
o Bone growth stops because of poor nutrition or stress
o Harris Lines
Lines across the long bones
Differences in bone density
Indicates interrupted growth
o Enamel Hypoplasia
Circular grooves in tooth enamel because of
nutritional stress
o Caused by strong organic acids and starches (e.g. maize)
o Softening an decay of the tooth
o Worldwide: increase in agriculture led to an increase of
o Probably not to do with what they were eating, but poor
diet can make you more susceptible to illness
Mechanical Properties of Bone
o Bone adapts to stresses of life
o Hunter-gatherers work hard, therefore have stronger
o Agriculture: males kept same bone strength, females got
stronger (more strenuous work)
Technology and Subsistence
Raw materials and weapon design
o Used to directly get resources
o What material was used? Bone, stone, wood, etc.
o Different conditions favour different activities
o Stone is the most effective for hunting, causing more damage and bleeding
Nature of tool kits
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