The anthropology of St. Catherines Island. 3, Prehistoric human biological adaptation. Anthropological papers of the AMNH ; v. 57, pt. 3

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New York : American Museum of Natural History
"Skeletal remains from the prehistoric coast of Georgia are the basis for this study. The effects of agriculture on the human skeleton are examined and explained in the present paper. The region was chosen because (1) there is a large skeletal series representative of both an early preagricultural adapatation (2200 B.C.-A.D. 1150) and a later mixed agricultural and hunting-gathering adaptation (A.D. 1150-A.D. 1550); (2) the Georgia coast represents continuous in situ cultural development from at least 2200 B.C. to A.D. 1550, implying human biological continuity for at least 3500 years prior to European contact; and (3) the economic regime for the Georgia coast has been documented by a large body of archaeological and ethnohistoric data. A series of skeletal and dental changes are viewed in light of an adaptational model encompassing disease and size of the hard tissues - skeletal and dental - and their respective responses to the behavioral shift from a hunting and gathering lifeway to one that incorporated corn agriculture after A.D. 1150. The model consists of two parts. First, with the introduction of an agriculture-based diet and consequent increase in population size and density, the pathology reflecting a general rise in occurrence of infectious disease due to an expansion in population size and a high dietary carbohydrate base should increase. Second, with the adoption of corn as a major dietary constituent, the softer foodstuffs and more sedentary lifeway associated with that adaptation should result in a respective decrease in functional demand on the masticatory complex in particular and on the body in general. In addition, the element of poor nutrition should come into play in an economy in which plant domesticates, and corn in particular, are the focus of diet. The comparison and analysis of the pathology and metric data support the model. In addition, the detailed examination of these data by sex suggests that the behavioral alterations that occurred consequent to the change in lifeway differentially affected females"--P. 159.
p. 157-270 : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 255-270).