Ancient Human Bone Microstructure in Medieval England: Comparisons between Two Socio-Economic Groups

Miszkiewicz, Justyna J. and Mahoney, Patrick (2015) Ancient Human Bone Microstructure in Medieval England: Comparisons between Two Socio-Economic Groups. The Anatomical Record, 299 (1). pp. 42-59. ISSN 1932-8494. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.23285) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

Understanding the links between bone microstructure and human lifestyle is critical for clinical and anthropological research into skeletal growth and adaptation. The present study is the first to report correspondence between socio-economic status and variation in bone microstructure in ancient humans. Products of femoral cortical remodeling were assessed using histological methods in a large human medieval sample (N:450) which represented two distinct socio-economic groups. Osteonal parameters were recorded in posterior midshaft femoral sections from adult males (N:233) and females (N:217). Using univariate and multivariate statistics, intact, fragmentary, and osteon population densities, Haversian canal area and diameter, and osteon area were compared between the two groups, accounting for sex, age, and estimated femoral robusticity. The size of osteons and their Haversian canals, as well as osteon density, varied significantly between the socio-economic groups, although minor inconsistencies were observed in females. Variation in microstructure was consistent with historical textual evidence that describes differences in mechanical loading and nutrition between the two groups. Results demonstrate that aspects of ancient human lifestyle can be inferred from bone microstructure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: histology;femur;socio-economic status;bone health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: Patrick Mahoney
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2015 14:28 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2017 15:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51541 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mahoney, Patrick: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2715-3096
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