Abstract

Population mean stature and patterns of health are often linked in anthropological studies, yet few studies control for the multifactorial nature of achieving adult standing height. This thesis explores the intersection of health and stature by analyzing the skeletal remains of 161 adult individuals from the archaeological site of Kuelap, in the eastern slopes of the northern Peruvian Andes, and also tests current biometric methods for estimating stature from skeletal remains. This Chachapoya site dates to the Late Intermediate Period (AD 900 – 1470) and Late Horizon (AD 1470 – 1536) and resides in the high altitude sub-tropical forests of the Andes. An anatomical method of stature estimation was applied to a subsample of 36 individuals and linear regression formulae were created, proving especially effective for the tibia and calcaneus in this sample. These new formulae produced more accurate results, regardless of sex, when compared to traditional estimates and suggest that sexually specific formulae are not necessary in studies of stature. However, sexual dimorphism in skeletal elements did produce an effective method of sex determination from individual appendicular elements and was tested successfully on commingled remains. This investigation produced valuable formulae for estimating both sex and stature from isolated remains in the Chachapoyas region. The results established that interregional variance in stature is consistent, but mean stature is strongly affected by environmental pressures. This study highlights the ineffectiveness of using stature to assess the relative health of geographically distinct populations, but demonstrates the possibility of culturally specific health interpretations. The formulae for sex and stature estimation created in this study have provided a glimpse of the intersection between culture, environment, and health in human biological diversity.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Toyne, J. Marla

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Anthropology

Degree Program

Anthropology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006069

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006069

Language

English

Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Anthropology Commons

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