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Palaeodemographic and palaeopathological characteristics of individuals buried in three Bronze Age sites from southern Croatia

Author(s): M. Novak | V. Vyroubal | Ž. Bedić

Journal: Bulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology
ISSN 1846-6273

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: southern Croatia | Bronze Age | demography | palaeopathology | bone trauma

The purpose of this study is to reconstruct paleodemographic and paleopathological characteristics of sixteen individuals (three subadults, seven males and six females) buried in three Bronze Age sites (Crip, Matkovići, and Veliki Vanik) located in southern Croatia. The analysed sample is characterised by the presence of pathological changes which are often associated with stressful episodes such as anaemia, inadequate nutrition, infectious diseases and the occurrence of parasites. Cribra orbitalia, dental enamel hypoplasia, porotic hyperostosis and periostitis were observed in seven out of sixteen analysed skeletons. One ulnar “parry” fracture and three fractures of the frontal bone strongly suggest the presence of deliberate interpersonal violence within the studied communities. The average life span of the adults, as well as the number and character of the observed pathologies, suggest a relatively poor life quality and harsh living conditions in the studied region during the Bronze Age.
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