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Bioarchaeology of East AsiaMovement, Contact, Health$
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Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044279

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044279.001.0001

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Change in the Linear Growth of Long Bones with the Adoption of Wet-Rice Agriculture in Japan

Change in the Linear Growth of Long Bones with the Adoption of Wet-Rice Agriculture in Japan

Chapter:
(p.368) 15 Change in the Linear Growth of Long Bones with the Adoption of Wet-Rice Agriculture in Japan
Source:
Bioarchaeology of East Asia
Author(s):

Kenji Okazaki

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813044279.003.0015

The adoption and intensification of agriculture by prehistoric foraging populations has been linked with a decline in community health and well-being. Changes in skeletal growth can be used to understand health in ancient human populations. Average limb lengths of juvenile skeletons from prehistoric and historical Japanese populations were used to estimate degree-of-attained-growth, an indicator of experienced environmental stress. While modern Japanese exhibited the lowest degree-of-attained-growth, a comparison with mid-20th century Euro-Americans from Denver, Colorado suggests this result likely reflects selection bias. Skeletal growth patterns did not change with the Jomon to Yayoi transition to wet-rice agriculture. This contrasts with the general prehistoric Native American case and can likely be explained by more gradual adoption of agriculture by low-density populations already characterized by sedentary behavior.

Keywords:   juveniles, skeletal growth, rice agriculture, Jomon, Yayoi

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