Activity stresses are an important factor in the development, patterning, and severity of osteoarthritis. This bioarchaeological thesis explores the prevalence and patterning of osteoarthritis between individuals buried at a Late Medieval Necropolis and a church Crypt built in the 19th century at the Mistihalj site in Bosnia and Herzegovina to understand the physiological effects of their peasant agro-pastoralist lifestyle. Composite scores of osteoarthritis were generated for visual observations of upper limb joints (shoulder, elbow, and wrist) and lower limb joints (hip, knee, and ankle) of 37 female and 39 male adult (between 20 and 50 or more years of age) skeletons. These were analyzed and compared by limb, age, sex, and time period. Low ranking peasant status for individuals was inferred by the location and type of burial. Odds ratio analyses show a positive correlation between the prevalence of osteoarthritis and age among Necropolis individuals. Correlation by age is expected, as the prevalence of osteoarthritis increases due to senescence and longer exposure to activities. A positive correlation between the severity of osteoarthritis and burial location between male skeletons overall and among older adults suggests that distinctive factors, perhaps differential workloads, played a role in the effects of this condition among these individuals. The reasons for the lack of any other significant differences in the osteoarthritic effects within and between the individuals from the two burial locations are discussed, including systemic factors that might lead to generalized osteoarthritis. However, overall these data suggest that the individuals within and between these time periods were generally involved in similar activities reflecting long term traditional lifestyles that continued over centuries. This thesis adds to the nascent bioarchaeological knowledge about past populations from Bosnia and Herzegovina and contributes to an anthropological understanding of lifestyles and their effect on physiological health.
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Toyne, J. Marla
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Manoni, Zorina, "A Bioarchaeological Study of Osteoarthritis of Agro-pastoralists from Mistihalj, Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Lifestyle Set in Time" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6027.