Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Archaeology
Maria O. Smith
Entheseal changes (EC), formally musculoskeletal stress markers, are the recordation of osteophytic change at an enthesis (any muscular origin or insertion). Study of EC is valuable in decoding past life activities, social dynamics, and health through the quantification of reactive osseous changes at entheses. The current study assesses EC to ascertain activity patterns at the Late Mississippian Dallas Phase (~1300-1550 AD) site of Toqua, aboriginally located in the lower Little Tennessee River Valley of East Tennessee. Toqua was a multiple mound, palisaded settlement of maize-intensive agriculturalists. The subsistence strategy may have required intense and possibly specialized labor of the upper arms and shoulders. This study compares entheseal scores of 96 individuals at the origins of biceps brachii, triceps brachii, deltoideus, and pectoralis major on the humerus, radius, and ulna of males (n=48) and females (n=46). These adults are separated into three age-at-death groups: Young Adult (15-30 years of age [yoa]), Middle Adult (31-44 yoa), and Old Adult (45-55+ yoa). The data suggests changes and transitions in social roles or labor patterns as people senesce and a heterarchical social organization. Burial patterns both here and at other Dallas Phase sites and ethnohistoric evidence support this notion. Power relationship within the Dallas phase and at this site may have been more horizontally than vertically complex. This sample does not reflect sustained, life-long labor, but rather reflects the heterarchical or fluid social roles and power relationships reflected in the SE Appalachian mortuary patterns and programs.
Lloyd, Dustin, "Activity Patterns and Division of Labor at a Southeastern Tennessee Late Mississippian Site: Toqua" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 761.