International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
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'Pankowská A, 2009: Comparison of health status in human skeletal remains disposal in settlements and necropolises in the Early Bronze Age (in Central Moravia, Czech Republic). Anthropologie (Brno) 47, 3: 215-228'.
The aim of this study is comparison of health status between two anthropological series dated back to the Early Bronze Age (circa 2000 - 1500 BC) excavated in the area of Central and South Moravia (Czech Republic). The reason for this research is the fact of unexplained phenomena of human skeletal remains disposal in settlement pits, which are typical for Central Europe in Early Bronze Age. In this study some selected osteological markers were observed representing the quality of life under which is possible to assess social status and find the reason for different funeral practice. Therefore the two series investigated in this paper differ in burial practice. One of them is individual disposal in haphazard burial positions in settlement pits and the other are individuals buried in graves typical for this period. The question is if there is a relation between the burial type and the social status of the individuals. To accomplish this, seven representative markers of health (markers of long-term life in worsen conditions) were investigated: mean stature of individuals, dental caries, dental calculus, linear enamel hypoplasia, ante mortem tooth loss, cribra orbitalia and metabolic diseases and compared in 43 skeletons from archeological sites in South and Middle Moravia (Czech Republic). The results indicate that female and male average stature in settlement pits was slightly higher than in graves, but the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Prevalence of dental caries, calculus and premortem tooth loss was higher in individuals buried in graves, but only differences in dental calculus affection were significant (p<0.05). Linear enamel hypoplasia occurred only in the pits. Prevalence of dental calculus and caries was observed only in females, and premortem tooth loss affected above all males buried in graves and females buried in settlement pits. Cribra orbitalia was recorded more in graves than in settlement pits (p<0.05), most frequently in juvenile individuals, males and least of all in females. Only in female and indifferent individuals in graves (p<0.05) appeared metabolic diseases (bowing deformities on long bones). Despite the low number of investigated individuals, the data suggest the osteological and dental markers of health to be more frequent in graves than in settlement pits. These results contradict our assumption that individuals buried in settlement pits had a lower social status, supposedly demonstrated by their worse health condition.
Early Bronze Age - Health reconstruction - Settlement pits - Graves - bone - Teeth

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