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Tracing ChildhoodBioarchaeological Investigations of Early Lives in Antiquity$
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Jennifer L. Thompson, Marta P. Alfonso-Durruty, and John J. Crandall

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049830

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049830.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Children of the Working Class

Children of the Working Class

Environmental Marginality and Child Health at Black Mesa, Arizona (AD 900–1150)

(p.198) 10 Children of the Working Class
Tracing Childhood

Debra L. Martin

Jennifer L. Thompson

John J. Crandall

University Press of Florida

Health in marginal environments is a global concern. In particular, children are extremely vulnerable to malnutrition and infection in such contexts. This chapter presents an analysis of subadult skeletal indicators of stress in the prehispanic American Southwest using skeletal remains from the Black Mesa Archaeological Project. Health of the children of the ancient “working class” is interpreted from analysis of the prevalence of porotic hyperostosis and non-specific periosteal inflammation of the leg bones in 71 non-adults. Evidence of porotic hyperostosis among 86.4% and a 70.7 percent frequency of periosteal reactions among the sample is examined by severity, degree of healing and by age. These data are contextualized against past bioarchaeological work among the ancestral Pueblo. It is argued that disease experienced by children among these ancient, rural farmers was buffered by Black Mesa's social system and subsistence strategies which protected the young from stress in ways unique to rural ancestral Puebloans.

Keywords:   Children, Infection, American Southwest

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