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A Case Study in the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease of Two Ancient Andean Agriculturalists

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As a child passes through the birth canal, they become inoculated with vital gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, aerobes and anaerobes. Breast milk helps to support this growing microbiome by providing oligosaccharides that support its proliferation. Breast milk can be

As a child passes through the birth canal, they become inoculated with vital gram positive and gram-negative bacteria, aerobes and anaerobes. Breast milk helps to support this growing microbiome by providing oligosaccharides that support its proliferation. Breast milk can be considered the most nutritious source of food available to a growing infant by providing the necessary nutrients, growth hormones and antibodies to promote digestive health, growth, and a strong immune system. The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Theory (DOHaD) is a theory that suggests a growing fetus and nursing child's nutrients and immune system are dependent on the mother's exposure to nutrients and toxins. Studies have shown a positive correlation between the length of nursing and a child's overall health through life. In addition, consuming an enriched diet after weaning builds a strong immunological and nutritional basis from which the child can grow. This leads to improvements in a child's overall health, which has beneficial long-term effects on morbidity and mortality. This project applied the theory to two Middle Horizon (AD500-1100) individuals from Akapana, Tiwanaku, in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis was applied to first molar serial samples of these two individuals to determine weaning age and early childhood diet. Both individuals were male; one male died in adolescence between the age of 9-15 years, and the other died as an elderly adult around the age of 50-59 years. The results showed that the male who died in adulthood was provisioned with supplemental and post-weaning foods high in animal protein, and received breast milk until around 37 months of age. The adolescent male was weaned between 11-12 months and consumed a diet dominated by C4 plants \u2014 most likely maize \u2014 with much less protein. The correlation between prolonged access to breast milk and a healthier and more nutritious childhood diet and longevity are consistent with the theory discussed above.

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2018-12

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Long Distance Exchange in Pre-Hispanic Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres Valley, New Mexico: A Comparison

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This thesis is a study of long distance exchange by the people of Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres Valley, New Mexico. Chaco Canyon region lies within the northwestern corner of present day New Mexico. Chaco Canyon belongs to the broader

This thesis is a study of long distance exchange by the people of Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres Valley, New Mexico. Chaco Canyon region lies within the northwestern corner of present day New Mexico. Chaco Canyon belongs to the broader ancestral Puebloan region of the U.S. Southwest. With its rise to prominence in the early 900s CE, Chaco Canyon was a major cultural center before European contact. Almost exactly south of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico lies the Mimbres region. Mimbres is a sub-classification within the broader Mogollon culture. Although both smaller in size and not quite as extensively studied as Chaco culture, the Mimbres region was important in its own right. Mimbres culture is considered to have it beginnings as a cohesive unit beginning around 825-850 CE with Three-Circle phase during the Late Pithouse period. Although Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres Valley are not thought to be well connected either through trade or culture, there is no denying that the contemporaneous dating of the occupations, and in particular their collapse at the same time, around 1130-1150 CE, speaks to the possibility of common forces working on both regions. The goal of this thesis is to see if the long-distance exchange of valued objects in both regions indicates parallel cultural responses between the two to distant external conditions, particularly in Mesoamerica. Does the growth and decline in procurement of these objects imply similar dynamics to the occupational histories of the two regions over time? The answers to these questions, which are compared to expectations based on distance to sources and the relative social power, may ultimately aid the understanding of a seemingly paradoxical interregional relationship and why two highly independent regions experienced simultaneous collapse. Separated by some 550 km, Chaco Canyon and the Mimbres region still have much to reveal about the nuances of their relationship with one other.

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2018-05

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Estimating Age at Death of Archaeological Remains: A Comparison of Transition Analysis and Traditional Estimation Methods

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Objectives: The objective of this research is to develop a better understanding of the ways in which Transition Analysis estimates differ from traditional estimates in terms of age-at-death point estimation and inter-observer error. Materials and methods: In order to achieve

Objectives: The objective of this research is to develop a better understanding of the ways in which Transition Analysis estimates differ from traditional estimates in terms of age-at-death point estimation and inter-observer error. Materials and methods: In order to achieve the objectives of the research, 71 adult individuals from an archaeological site in northern Sudan were subjected to Transition Analysis age estimation by the author, a beginner-level osteologist. These estimates were compared to previously produced traditional multifactorial age estimates for these individuals, as well as a small sample of Transition Analysis estimates produced by an intermediate-level investigator. Results: Transition Analysis estimates do not have a high correlation with traditional estimates of age at death, especially when those estimates fall within middle or old adult age ranges. The misalignment of beginner- and intermediate-level Transition Analysis age estimations calls into question intra-method as well as inter-method replicability of age estimations. Discussion: Although the poor overall correlation of Transition Analysis estimates and traditional estimates in this study might be blamed on the relatively low experience level of the analyst, the results cast doubt on the replicability of Transition Analysis estimations, echoing the Bethard's (2005) results on a known-age sample. The results also question the validity of refined age estimates produced for individuals previously estimated to be in the 50+ age range by traditional methods and suggest that Transition Analysis tends to produce younger estimates than its traditional counterparts. Key words: age estimation, Transition Analysis, human osteology, observer error

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2017-05

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Mortuary Theory in Context: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of a Late Woodland Burial Feature

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The present analysis sought to determine the relationship between Middle Woodland (ca. 2000-1700 BP) and Late Woodland (ca. 1700-1100 BP) mortuary practices in the Lower Illinois Valley. It applies alternative mortuary theories to elucidate larger social implications and the relationshi

The present analysis sought to determine the relationship between Middle Woodland (ca. 2000-1700 BP) and Late Woodland (ca. 1700-1100 BP) mortuary practices in the Lower Illinois Valley. It applies alternative mortuary theories to elucidate larger social implications and the relationship between these practices. This was accomplished by first reconstructing a Late Woodland mortuary feature from the Helton Site in the Lower Illinois Valley (HN 20-36). The reconstructed feature was then assessed to identify if Middle Woodland mortuary practices were continuous with those of the Late Woodland. Lastly, the feature was interpreted in accordance with processualist, post-processualist and individual identity theories on mortuary behavior to determine the larger social implications of the funerary practices associated with the feature. From this analysis, it was concluded that Late Woodland mortuary practices exhibited elements of both continuity with, and change from their Middle Woodland predecessors. Further, the theoretical interpretations reveled that Late Woodland social systems existed as an evolved and reorganized extension of those systems that were present during the Middle Woodland period.

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2016-05

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Environmental Impacts on Light Stable Isotope Systems

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Isotopic analyses of archaeological and modern materials are commonly used to reconstruct diet, climate, and habitat. This study analyzes 15 camelid samples from three sites (two archaeological, one modern) in South America to determine their carbon and nitrogen isotopic values

Isotopic analyses of archaeological and modern materials are commonly used to reconstruct diet, climate, and habitat. This study analyzes 15 camelid samples from three sites (two archaeological, one modern) in South America to determine their carbon and nitrogen isotopic values to further explore the relationship between stable isotopes and environments. Camelid individuals in the modern site of Cuenca, Ecuador had a diet of almost entirely C3 vegetation, while those in Chen Chen, Peru had slightly higher values, still consistent with C3 plants. Those in the higher altitude site of Pumapunku, Bolivia had higher δ13C values than expected, indicating they may have been foddered with a mixed diet. These isotopic data indicate that vegetation, and therefore herbivore diets, are influenced by altitude. Additionally, it was found that a positive linear relationship exists between δ15N values and aridity of a site. Results indicate that aspects of the environment such as aridity are reflected in isotopic signatures. These results contribute to the increasing amount of data on isotopic variation in South American camelids, both modern and archaeological.

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2016-05

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Grinding Stones at Postclassic Sites in Morelos and the Toluca Valley

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This thesis examines the grinding stone fragments found at the archaeological sites of Calixtlahuaca, Yautepec, Cuexcomate and Capilco; the first in the Toluca Valley, and the latter three from the state of Morelos, all in Mexico. General patterns in grinding

This thesis examines the grinding stone fragments found at the archaeological sites of Calixtlahuaca, Yautepec, Cuexcomate and Capilco; the first in the Toluca Valley, and the latter three from the state of Morelos, all in Mexico. General patterns in grinding stone distribution within and between the sites are explored and an analysis comparing the porosity of stones to imported ceramics (as a wealth index) is attempted. Within the grinding stone assemblage, there is some suggestion that the Aztec conquest may have impacted artifact morphology and distribution, likely as a result of increasing resource obligations due to tribute or growing populations.

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2014-05

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Analysis of Native American Scalping from the Chavez Pass Population

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Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect of the cranium of the individual. For this study, there

Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect of the cranium of the individual. For this study, there are 7 crania with cut-marks evident of scalping from the Southwest population of Chavez Pass. These crania were excavated from the site of Nuvakwewtaqa located in north-central Arizona, in the middle of the Coconino National Forest. Unfortunately, the site was heavily looted through pot-hunter activity, leading to a large collection of commingle remains. The objectives of this study are summarized into three basic question words: Who? Where? And, How? More specifically: [1] whether there is a relationship between age or sex and being a victim of scalping; [2] whether there is a relationship between the burial location and having been scalped; and, [3] whether the age or sex of an individual affected the manner in which they were scalped. For this analysis of scalping, three statistical tests were used: Fisher's exact test, Chi-Square test and two-sample t-tests.

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2014-05

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A Comparison of the Interactions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen Based on Dietary and Isotopic Analyses

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Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of this research: What are the differences between the Middle Horizon

Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of this research: What are the differences between the Middle Horizon capital of Tiwanaku and the associated colony of Chen Chen; and what do these differences, including those associated with paleodiet, suggest about interactions between the two sites? The main hypothesis suggested a similar dietary analysis between the two sites with two possible explanations. First, it is possible that similarities between the sites were due to the exchange and consumption of goods at both locations, perhaps through trade. Secondly, it is possible that the similarities were due to the acquisition of similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade. To assess this, an analysis was conducted based on δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values in the comparison of the city center Tiwanaku and the agricultural site of Chen Chen. Archaeological bone samples were processed from a diverse group of individuals at Chen Chen and combined with published values by Tomczak (2001), then compared against δ13C from Tiwanaku, published by Berryman (2010). After conversion to δ13Cdiet (VPDB) as described by Kellner and Schoeninger (2007), it was determined that there was no statistically significant difference between the δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values from either site, suggesting a similar ratio of goods consumed. These values were then compared to baseline values from the region to determine an approximate ratio of C3 to C4 flora or dependent fauna consumed. These data most likely support the second explanation of the main hypothesis, that both sites had access to similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade as an explanation for their similarity. However, because a similar ratio of foods consumed was determined in this analysis, it is still possible that trade occurred in both directions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen. Additional isotopic analyses would be required to support the first claim, which can be addressed in future research projects.

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2015-05

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Social Diversity and Public Interaction Space in the Classic and Postclassic Mimbres

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This paper studies the change in social diversity and interaction space from the Classic to Postclassic periods in the Mimbres Valley and East Mimbres Area. Between the Classic and Postclassic periods the Mimbres region of the American Southwest exhibits an

This paper studies the change in social diversity and interaction space from the Classic to Postclassic periods in the Mimbres Valley and East Mimbres Area. Between the Classic and Postclassic periods the Mimbres region of the American Southwest exhibits an increase in diversity of ceramic wares. Previous research suggests that increased diversity of ceramics indicates a more diverse community, which could pose challenges to local social interaction (Nelson et al. 2011). I am interested in whether the architecture of plazas, focal points of communities' social structures, change in response to the growing social diversity. To examine this, I quantify the diversity of painted ceramics at Classic and Postclassic villages as well as the extent of the enclosure of plazas. I find that there is a definite shift towards greater plaza enclosure between the Classic and Postclassic periods. I conclude this paper with a discussion of possible interpretations of this trend regarding the social reactions of Mimbres communities to the changes which reshaped the region between the Classic and Postclassic periods.

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2015-05

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Pithouse to Classic: Valued Goods and Social Change, Mimbres Valley, New Mexico

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The Mimbres tradition of southwestern New Mexico, underwent what can be characterized as continuity with change, a form of non-collapse transformation, from the Late Pithouse (ca. 550-1000 CE) to Classic (ca. 1000-1130 CE) period. Both transitions are characterized by large-scale

The Mimbres tradition of southwestern New Mexico, underwent what can be characterized as continuity with change, a form of non-collapse transformation, from the Late Pithouse (ca. 550-1000 CE) to Classic (ca. 1000-1130 CE) period. Both transitions are characterized by large-scale shifts in housing, settlement patterns, pottery, and mortuary customs.The goal of this thesis is to evaluate changes in the intrasite and inter-site frequencies of selected nonlocal items in Mimbres burial contexts dating to the Late Pithouse and Classic periods. Because those living in the Mimbres region seem to have dramatically changed the ways in which they lived and expressed their social identities it is reasonable to assume that their mortuary use of these high-value objects might have also transformed.

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2013-12