September Meeting Announcement


Join us this Fri­day, Sep­tem­ber 16th for our first meet­ing of the Fall! Our Sep­tem­ber speak­er will be Bri­an­na Mack speak­ing on “Osteoarthri­tis in Mid­dle Holocene Hunter-Gath­er­ers from the Cis-Baikal Region of Siberia, Rus­sia”.  All are wel­come to attend the meet­ing at 7:00 pm in Room 132 of the Archae­ol­o­gy Build­ing on the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan cam­pus (55 Cam­pus Dri­ve).

Bri­an­na Mack is cur­rent­ly fin­ish­ing her Mas­ter of Arts degree in the Depart­ment of Archae­ol­o­gy and Anthro­pol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Saskatchewan. Dur­ing the sum­mer of 2011 she trav­eled to Irkut­sk, Rus­sia and col­lect­ed the data required for her the­sis. Her research involved the analy­sis of osteoarthri­tis data from human remains found in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia dat­ing to the Ear­ly Neolith­ic, Late Neolith­ic, and Ear­ly Bronze Age peri­ods. She enjoyed her trav­el to Rus­sia and hopes to return again in the future once she has com­plet­ed her MA. She lives with her hus­band Ben and their large fam­i­ly of fresh­wa­ter fish­es, and are excit­ed to add one feisty feline to the mix very soon.

Abstract – Osteoarthri­tis in Mid­dle Holocene Hunter-Gath­er­ers from the Cis-Baikal Region of Siberia, Rus­sia

The Cis-Baikal region of Siberia offers a well-pre­served suite of ceme­tery sites, enabling detailed recon­struc­tion of life­ways among mid­dle Holocene hunter-gath­er­er groups. Broad­ly, these ceme­ter­ies fea­ture two bio­log­i­cal­ly and cul­tur­al­ly dis­tinct pop­u­la­tions, sep­a­rat­ed by an 800 year hia­tus: the Ear­ly Neolith­ic (8000–7000/6800 cal BP) Kitoi cul­ture (“pre-hia­tus”) and the Late Neolith­ic-Ear­ly Bronze Age (6000/5800–4000 cal BP) Isako­vo-Sero­vo-Glasko­vo or ISG cul­tur­al com­plex (“post-hia­tus”). For over two decades, the Baikal-Hokkai­do Archae­ol­o­gy Project (BHAP) has inves­ti­gat­ed mid­dle Holocene hunter-gath­er­er adap­ta­tions using a vari­ety of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary meth­ods. This research builds upon pre­vi­ous BHAP work on osteoarthri­tis (OA) and activ­i­ty recon­struc­tion in the Cis-Baikal by exam­in­ing human remains from three large ceme­ter­ies locat­ed through­out the region — Loko­mo­tiv and Shaman­ka II (pre-hia­tus), and Ust’-Ida I (post-hia­tus). More specif­i­cal­ly, I employ data on OA sever­i­ty for the  tem­poro­mandibu­lar joint (TMJ), shoul­der, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, and the ver­te­bral col­umn to test hypothe­ses about tem­po­ral, spa­tial, and sex-based dif­fer­ences in activ­i­ty pat­terns. Data pre­sent­ed here are gen­er­al­ly con­sis­tent with find­ings of pre­vi­ous BHAP stud­ies, indi­cat­ing tem­po­ral and local vari­a­tion in ancient activ­i­ty pat­terns, as well as sex-based dif­fer­ences. Male groups from the three ceme­ter­ies under study here exhib­it­ed rel­a­tive­ly con­sis­tent (high) OA sever­i­ty scores, while female groups from the Angara Riv­er Val­ley (regard­less of time peri­od) fea­tured high­er OA sever­i­ty scores than those from the South Baikal. I sug­gest that local demo­graph­ic and envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors like­ly played an impor­tant role in pro­duc­ing these dif­fer­ences.