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Michelle Beckhorn Session 1 2012


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Michelle Beckhorn Session 1 2012

  1. 1. Biomechanics and BoneStress in Anthr opolog yMichelle Beckhorn; Session 1; 7 May 2012; Cave
  2. 2. Biomechanics Application of mechanical principles to biological systems Used in anthropology to explain skeletal variation among populations past and present Can be used to understand cultural practices such as throwing spears, heavy workloads, spatial movement, knapping, etc.
  3. 3. Methods ofUnderstandingBiomechanics Wolff’s law states simply that mechanical loading influences bone structure Bone function adaptation states that mechanical deformation or strain of bone tissue occurs under mechanical loading.  Body Size  Muscle Activity Example: robusticity of the long bone diaphysis between modern populations and past populations
  4. 4. Variations to Consider Diet Disease Age at death Genetics Hormones Gender Size
  5. 5. Aspects to consider invariations Because of the high variations within populations, it is most accurate to compare sides within an individual than one individual to another. The dominant side will exhibit bone stress marks resulting from mechanical load or movement. Within a population, if there are many individuals with such marks, the cultural trend can be better assessed Cold environments can accelerate bone stress due to blood vessel constriction Age at which mechanical strain begins affects the severity of the bone stress.
  6. 6. Early Thule of the HudsonBay Supports evidence of umiaks Kayaker’s Clavicle and humor stress strong to heavy Gender role differences Late start Hunting changes from whaling to seal 90 percent left handedness
  7. 7. Evolutionary Trends in Bone Robusticity Over the past two million years bone robusticity has decreased by 30% Resulting from the decrease in walking long distances, mechanical load and introduction of agriculture and industry. Increase of potential osteoporosis Physical environment and effects of cultural practices
  8. 8. Conclusion Taking into consideration the variations listed, we can understand how culture can effect the amount of mechanical loads which influences bone stress such as robusticity on the long bone. Archaeologists can use bone stress marks to understand evolutionary and cultural trends of populations past and present.
  9. 9. References Hawkey, Diane E., Charles F. Merbs. Activity-induced musculoskeletal stress markers (MSM) and subsistence strategy changes among ancient Hudson Bay Eskimos. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Volume 5, Issue 4, pages 324–338, December 1995. M. ANNE KATZENBERG, Shelly Saunders. Biological Anthropology of the Human Skeleton. John Wiley and Sons Inc. Hoboken, NJ. 2008