Anthropology 2229G Final Exam Review – Part 2

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

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: C ratio to find out what the diet was like, reflects dietary preferences 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 13 12  Higher ratios of C: C  Tend to be major staples of the diet, e.g. maize in the New World and millet in the Old World  C3 Plants 13 12  Lower C: C 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 C 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  Stature/Height  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  Pathologies  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  Caries/Cavities 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 caries  Disease 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 bones o Agriculture: males kept same bone strength, females got stronger (more strenuous work) Technol
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