Bioarchaeological Studies of Life in the Age of Agriculture: A View from the Southeast

Overview

Investigations of skeletal remains from key archaeological sites reveal new data and offer insights on prehistoric life and health in the
Southeast.

The shift from foraging to farming had important health consequences for prehistoric peoples, but variations in health existed

within communities that had made this transition. This new collection draws on the rich ...

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Overview

Investigations of skeletal remains from key archaeological sites reveal new data and offer insights on prehistoric life and health in the
Southeast.

The shift from foraging to farming had important health consequences for prehistoric peoples, but variations in health existed

within communities that had made this transition. This new collection draws on the rich bioarchaeological record of the Southeastern United States
to explore variability in health and behavior within the age of agriculture. It offers new perspectives on human adaptation to various geographic and
cultural landscapes across the entire Southeast, from Texas to Virginia, and presents new data from both classic and little-known sites.

The contributors question the reliance on simple cause-and-effect relationships in human health and behavior by addressing such key bioarchaeological issues as disease history and epidemiology, dietary composition and sufficiency, workload stress, patterns of violence, mortuary practices, and biological consequences of European contact. They also advance our understanding of agriculture by showing that uses of maize were more varied than has been previously supposed.

Representing some of the best work being done today by physical anthropologists, this volume provides new insights into human adaptation for both archaeologists and osteologists. It attests to the heterogeneous character of Southeastern societies during the late prehistoric and early historic periods while effectively detailing the many factors that have shaped biocultural evolution.

Contributors include: Patricia S. Bridges, Elizabeth Monaham Driscoll, Debra L. Gold, Dale L. Hutchinson, Keith P. Jacobi, Patricia M. Lambert, Clark Spencer Larsen, Lynette Norr, Mary Lucas Powell, Marianne Reeves, Lisa Sattenspiel, Margaret J. Schoeninger, Mark R. Schurr, Leslie E. Sering, David S. Weaver, and Matthew A. Williamson

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"These authoritative, provocative, and wide-ranging studies of human skeletons provide perspectives on life and death in the prehistoric Southeast that are impossible to obtain through other kinds of archaeological investigations. "
&#151George R. Milner, Pennsylvania State University

"A wealth of new data and ideas . . . challenging our assumptions about the broad patterns of population adaptation and decline before and after European contact."
—American Antiquity

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817310073
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia M. Lambert is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 Ancient Diseases, Modern Perspectives: Treponematosis and Tuberculosis in the Age of Agriculture 6
3 Warfare-Related Trauma in the Late Prehistory of Alabama 35
4 Transitions at Moundville: A Question of Collapse 63
5 Dental Health at Early Historic Fusihatchee Town: Biocultural Implications of Contact in Alabama 78
6 Agricultural Melodies and Alternative Harmonies in Florida and Georgia 96
7 Inferring Iron-Deficiency Anemia from Human Skeletal Remains: The Case of the Georgia Bight 116
8 A Comparison of Degenerative Joint Disease between Upland and Coastal Prehistoric Agriculturalists from Georgia 134
9 Dental Health and Late Woodland Subsistence in Coastal North Carolina 148
10 Life on the Periphery: Health in Farming Communities of Interior North Carolina and Virginia 168
11 "Utmost Confusion" Reconsidered: Bioarchaeology and Secondary Burial in Late Prehistoric Interior Virginia 195
References 219
Contributors 273
Index 277
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