INSTITUTO DE ANTROPOLOGIA DE CORDOBA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
A diachronic study of activity in Portugal using entheseal changes
SALEGA, SOLEDAD; HENDERSON, CHARLOTTE; SILVA, ANA MARIA
Congreso; Working your fingers to the bone. A interdisciplinary conference on identifying occupation from the skeleton.; 2016
Introduction: The aim of this work is to study the changes in entheseal change frequency through time in Portugal to assess the effect of increased urbanisation and industrialisation. Previous research has found that agriculturalists have the lowest frequency of entheseal changes in the past, with hunter-gatherers the second highest and those living in an industrial setting having the highest frequencies. However, this study was a meta-analysis of previously published papers and was subject to several limiting factors, such as inter-observer error. But more seriously, the method used to record entheseal changes was not biologically appropriate. This study therefore aims to address these issues by using a newly devised biologically appropriate recording method, and using one observer to record all entheseal changes.Materials and Methods: To achieve this aim one researcher recorded eleven entheses (upper and lower limb), in right and left sides, using the new Coimbra method for recording entheses (Henderson et al. 2015). Eight archaeological sites were recorded; these were predominantly medieval (due to preservation issues) different socio-economic status sites and with different economic practices.Results: The results show that different sites have very different profiles of frequencies of each feature. Trends in the upper limb are more disparate than in the lower limb, with the triceps surae enthesis having the most consistent pattern of changes between sites.Discussion: Activity is not the only explanatory factor in these results, different age and sex profiles contribute to the different trends. Small sample sizes in the individual sites also contribute to high frequencies of some changes. However, this approach is vital to understand temporal trends in entheseal changes.References: Henderson CY, Mariotti V, Pany-Kucera D, Villotte S, Wilczak C. 2015. The new ?Coimbra method?: a biologically appropriate method for recording specific features of fibrocartilaginous entheseal changes. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., doi: 10.1002/oa.2477.