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Changing Patterns of Health and Disease Among the Aleuts

Changing Patterns of Health and Disease Among the Aleuts Abstract: Compared to other regions of North America, there have been relatively few paleopathological studies of arctic populations to date, particularly those aimed at elucidating patterns of health and disease prior to contact, and assessing temporal changes in disease patterns. In the present study, four Aleut skeletal samples representing one pre-contact population from Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands (N=65), and three late pre-contact/early contact period populations from Umnak, Kagamil, and Shiprock Islands (N=227), were examined macroscopically for indicators of health status. The analysis revealed some evidence of declining health in the late pre-contact/early contact period. Statistical comparisons of the earlier and later samples indicated a significantly higher frequency of cribra orbitalia and cranial infection in the later sample compared to the earlier one. Archaeological, epidemiological, and historical data point to several possible explanations for these findings, including the introduction of new pathogens by Europeans. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arctic Anthropology University of Wisconsin Press

Changing Patterns of Health and Disease Among the Aleuts

Arctic Anthropology , Volume 40 (1) – Mar 30, 2003

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
ISSN
1933-8139
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Compared to other regions of North America, there have been relatively few paleopathological studies of arctic populations to date, particularly those aimed at elucidating patterns of health and disease prior to contact, and assessing temporal changes in disease patterns. In the present study, four Aleut skeletal samples representing one pre-contact population from Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands (N=65), and three late pre-contact/early contact period populations from Umnak, Kagamil, and Shiprock Islands (N=227), were examined macroscopically for indicators of health status. The analysis revealed some evidence of declining health in the late pre-contact/early contact period. Statistical comparisons of the earlier and later samples indicated a significantly higher frequency of cribra orbitalia and cranial infection in the later sample compared to the earlier one. Archaeological, epidemiological, and historical data point to several possible explanations for these findings, including the introduction of new pathogens by Europeans.

Journal

Arctic AnthropologyUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Mar 30, 2003

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