Reconstructing Health at Nevasa, Daimabad, and Inamgaon

Clark Spencer Larsen

in Bioarchaeology and Climate Change

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036670
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041803 | DOI:
Reconstructing Health at Nevasa, Daimabad, and Inamgaon

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This chapter provides an analysis of emaciation rates in three subadult skeletal populations from the Deccan Chalcolithic (2200–700 B.C.) period of India's prehistory. It begins with a discussion of theoretical issues of using body shape and size as a biocultural stress marker, the results of prior bioarchaeological analyses, and the potential impact of the osteological paradox. Emaciation is inferred from the subadult skeletons using an analysis of outliers in body mass for stature; the results are examined in a comparative framework. This analysis demonstrates that through time, as environmental circumstances worsened at the village of Inamgaon and agricultural production was abandoned, emaciation rates among infants (0–3 years) increased. Emaciation likely resulted from a combination of a number of factors, including starvation, disease, and poor socio-sanitation conditions. The results indicate that higher biocultural stress levels in general were found during the Late Jorwe phase, prior to the site's abandonment.

Keywords: archaeology; bioarchaeology; starvation; emaciation; body mass; growth; femur; biocultural stress; children; India

Chapter.  7629 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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