Investigating Patterns of Interpersonal Violence Using Frequency Distributions of Cranial Vault Trauma
Violence has been found ubiquitously across human societies and throughout time. An act of violence can be defined as purposeful harm brought upon one individual as a direct or indirect result of the actions of another. The purpose of this research is to develop a quantitative approach to examining lethality using frequency distributions for location of trauma on the cranium in order to model patterns of interpersonal violence. This is accomplished through the study of a skeletal sample, from the prehispanic Chachapoya (existing around A.D. 800 â€“ 1535), discovered at the site of Kuelap in the northern Peruvian Andes. Metric data were gathered from 81 individuals including males, females, and subadults. The data consisted of precise location of traumatic injury measured from anatomical landmarks in each of five two-dimensional views of the cranium as well as estimated diameter of impact for all lesions. The lesions were separated between perimortem (lethal) and antemortem (non-lethal) in order to explore patterns of lethality that correlate with location of injury. A statistical difference (p > 0.05) in location could not be determined when the distributions were compared in five standard two-dimensional views or between the sexes. Statistical significance (p > 0.05), however, was encountered when the entire cranium was used for the distribution. This distribution showed that perimortem injuries tend to occur more frequently on the posterior aspect of the cranium while antemortem injuries tend to occur more frequently on the anterior for this sample. These results show that a quantitative approach to location of injuries to the cranial vault can reveal new patterns of violent interactions and aid in the study of violent behavior.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Anzellini, Armando, "Investigating Patterns of Interpersonal Violence Using Frequency Distributions of Cranial Vault Trauma" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1517.