Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Lee Meadows Jantz

Committee Members

Richard L. Jantz, Walter E. Klippel

Abstract

The goal of this study is to determine whether aspects of modern life predispose individuals to different patterns of trauma than earlier populations. The specific patterns and susceptibilities to injury may be unique to individual populations and provide a reference in order to gauge quality of life and health status for the populations under study. The present investigation was conducted using the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection and the William M. Bass Donated Collection. The analysis of both collections was conducted macroscopically without the aid of radiographs. Only complete, adult specimens were used to allow for greater statistical power, according to the method of Lovejoy and Heiple (1981) and Judd (2002). Each element of the skeleton, except for hands and feet, was visually inspected for the presence or absence of fractures. Demographic information was recorded for each individual and includes cause of death, age, sex, and ancestry. Statistical analyses were performed using SAS Version 9.1.3 (2003) and SPSS Version 16.0 (2007). The frequency data generated by the two collections in this study were analyzed using cross-tabulations with Chi-square tests, to determine if any differences occurred between the earlier and later populations, as well as between age, sex, and ancestry groups. The results indicate that differences exist across the demographic categories. The variation inherent in the sample may be attributed to the fact that the Hamann-Todd collection was created from a more socio-economically disadvantaged population, as compared to the Bass donated collection. Overall, there is significant variation found between the seven groups included in this study, which helps garner a further understanding of modern injury patterns.

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