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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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Trauma and Infectious Disease in Northern Japan

Trauma and Infectious Disease in Northern Japan

Okhotsk and Jomon

Chapter:
(p.399) 16 Trauma and Infectious Disease in Northern Japan
Source:
Bioarchaeology of East Asia
Author(s):

Marc Oxenham

Hirofumi Matsumura

Allison Drake

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813044279.003.0016

The aims of this chapter are to review the skeletal signatures of disease and trauma in Hokkaido, Japan and compare these results to environmentally and climatically comparable samples from sub-arctic and arctic Alaska. Results show that despite the operation of a “cold barrier” to pathogens, cold adapted populations suffered from elevated levels of non-specific and identifiable infectious diseases in the northern zones of NE Asia and the Americas. While cranial trauma is not observed in northern Japanese samples, contrary to the pattern seen in Alaska, the frequency and patterning of postcranial trauma in the cold-adapted Japanese samples, especially Okhotsk, is consistent with the putative dangers of a marine mammal hunting lifeway. Finally, evidence for the accommodation of individuals with extremely debilitating conditions in northern Japan would not have been without economic implications for these communities.

Keywords:   paleoepidemiology, skeletal lesions, traumatic injury

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