Date of Graduation

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Jerome C. Rose

Committee Member

Justin M. Nolan

Second Committee Member

Peter S. Unger

Keywords

Social sciences; Bioarchaeology; Cribra orbitalia; Egypt; Linear enamel hypoplasias; Osteology; Porotic hyperostosis

Abstract

What is now known as Amarna, Egypt there once stood a grand city. Hastily built and quickly abandoned, this once capital city of Egypt was the brainchild of the Pharaoh Akhenaten. In 2002 the final resting place of the inhabitants who populated this ancient city were discovered. Since excavations began at the South Tombs Cemetery an unusual high number of individuals aged 3-25 have been excavated. Out of the 278 individuals excavated thus far, 45% of them fall to the adolescent and sub-adult category. Under normal circumstances this portion of the population tends to be the most robust and resilient, thus their representation in the archaeological record is generally very low. To determine why this was not the case for the communal population at Amarna the skeletal material was analyzed using the parameters set by Standards for the presence of certain features indicative of stress, such as, cribra orbitalia, linear enamel hypoplasias, and porotic hyperostosis. Out of 79 observable individuals aged 3-25, 68 show signs of cribra orbitalia and/or porotic hyperostosis, 33 have linear enamel hypoplasias, and at least four individuals show signs of possible scurvy, rickets, or folic acid deficiency. The result of such a high number of stress cases indicate a very unhealthy population who lacked access to proper nutrition, were malnourished, and diseased. This evidence completely contradicts the art of the time period, which depicts an abundance of food and resources.

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