Exploring the relationship between entheseal changes and physical activity: A multivariate study.

Journal article


Milella, Marco, Cardoso, Francisca Alves, Assis, Sandra, Lopreno, Geneviève Perréard and Speith, Nivien 2014. Exploring the relationship between entheseal changes and physical activity: A multivariate study. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22640
AuthorsMilella, Marco, Cardoso, Francisca Alves, Assis, Sandra, Lopreno, Geneviève Perréard and Speith, Nivien
Abstract

Analyses of entheseal changes (EC) in identified skeletal samples employ a common research strategy based on the comparison between occupations grouped on the basis of shared biomechanical and/or social characteristics. Results from this approach are often ambiguous, with some studies that point to differences in EC between occupational samples and others failing to provide evidence of behavioral effects on EC. Here we investigate patterns of EC among documented occupations by means of a multivariate analysis of robusticity scores in nine postcranial entheses from a large (N = 372) contemporary skeletal sample including specimens from one Italian and two Portuguese identified collections. Data on entheseal robusticity, analyzed by pooled sides as well by separated sides and levels of asymmetry, are converted in binary scores and then analyzed through nonlinear principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. Results of these analyses are then used for the classification of occupations. Differences between occupational classes are tested by MANOVA and pairwise Hotelling's test. Results evidence three classes which separate occupations related to farming, physically demanding but generalized occupation, and physically undemanding occupations, with the more consistent differences between the first and the last classes. Our results are consistent with differences in biomechanical behavior between the occupations included in each class, and point to the physical and social specificity of farming activities. On the other hand, our study exemplifies the usefulness of alternative analytical protocols for the investigation of EC, and the value of research designs devoid of a priori assumptions for the test of biocultural hypotheses.

KeywordsEntheseal robusticity; Occupations; Multivariate study; Anthropology
Year2014
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
PublisherWiley
ISSN00029483
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.22640
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622271
hdl:10545/622271
Publication dates20 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Mar 2018, 16:28
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Archived with thanks to American Journal of Physical Anthropology

ContributorsUniversity Zürich-Irchel, Nova University, University of Coimbra, University of Geneva, Bournemouth University, Anthropological Institute and Museum, University Zürich-Irchel; Winterthurerstrasse 190 8057 Zürich Switzerland, CRIA-Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa; Av. Berna, 26-C, 1069-061 Lisboa Portugal, CIAS - Centro de Investigação em Antropologia e Saúde; Department of Life Sciences; Calçada Martins de Freitas, University of Coimbra; 3000-456 Coimbra Portugal, Laboratory of prehistoric archaeology and anthropology; F.A. Forel Institut - Earth Sciences and Environment, University of Geneva; 18, route des Acacias, CH-1211 Genéve 4 Switzerland and Faculty of Science and Technology; Department of Archaeology; Anthropology and Forensic Science, Bournemouth University; Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole BH12 5BB Dorset UK
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