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Late Bronze And Iron Age Crania from Armenia: A Paleoecological Study

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Abstract

Results of a pathological examination of craniodental remains of 71 individuals buried at four Late Bronze and Iron Age cemeteries in the Sevan Basin, Armenia, are outlined. The general adaptation to the local environment appears to have been adequate. Among the pathogenic factors, those causing infections appear to have played a key role. Exposure to cold coinciding with chronic staphylococcal and streptococcal foci was likely the major cause of otitis media. Auditory exostoses, too, may indicate exposure to cold air and/or cold water. Periodontal disease and abscesses are frequent, attesting to poor dental hygiene. Dental calculus is nearly universal, indicating preference for viscous food, possibly rich in proteins. Pathological tooth wear is rare. Certain crania, mostly male, display traumatic lesions and the same applies to postcranial bones, likely evidencing violence. Two instances of decapitation were registered. Episodic stress markers point to adverse conditions such as infections, parasites, and starvation periods. Individuals who died before reaching maturity appear to have experienced maximal stress.

About the Author

A. Y. Khudaverdyan
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Charents 15, Yerevan, 0025, Armenia
Russian Federation


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For citation:


Khudaverdyan A.Y. Late Bronze And Iron Age Crania from Armenia: A Paleoecological Study. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2016;44(2):129-136. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)