Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Archaeology
Maria O. Smith
Temporal variation was examined in female labor associated with subsistence modifications in pre-Columbian human osteological samples from the Mississippi River valley of west-central Illinois related to weaning patterns, diet, and overall health status of subadults. This study was performed on a sample of 173 burials constituting 98 subadults and 75 adult females from temporally sequential Illinois mortuary contexts (Albany [11WT1], Kuhlman [11A163], Schroeder [11HE177], and Dickson [11F10] Mounds) that represent the transition from Middle Woodland hunter gatherers to Mississippian maize agriculturalists. This was accomplished by (1) scoring pattern and degree of dental attrition and dental caries in subadults, (2) identification of porotic hyperostosis and cribra orbitalia in subadults as reflective of iron-deficient and megaloblastic anemia and (3) analysis of frequency and severity of osteoarthritis (OA) on the joint surfaces of the humerus, radius, and ulna in multiple age cohorts of adult females. Subadults of Kuhlman (AD 600-1050) and Dickson Mounds (AD 800- ~1250) shared patterns of higher frequencies of porotic hyperostosis, cribra orbitalia, and osteoarthritis when compared to the Albany (BC ~200-AD 300) and Schroeder Mounds (AD 900-1150) samples. Results also show evidence of labor and settlement modifications in within Kuhlman and Dickson Mounds possibly related to intensive processing. In all, this research gives further insight into the relationship between intensive female labor and subadult health status in Illinois.
Dobbins, Paige M., "Working Women: Agricultural Intensification, Osteoarthritis in Females, and Subadult Health in Illinois Woodland and Mississippian Mortuary Contexts" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 852.