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Biological Responses to Change in Prehistoric Viet Nam

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Title:Biological Responses to Change in Prehistoric Viet Nam
Authors:Oxenham, Marc F.
Keywords:Con Co Ngua
Da But period
Metal period
Viet Nam
LC Subject Headings:Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Date Issued:2006
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Citation:Oxenham, M. F. 2006. Biological Responses to Change in Prehistoric Viet Nam. Asian Perspectives 45 (2): 212-39.
Series:Volume 45
Number 2
Abstract:A bioarchaeological analysis of human remains from Con Co Ngua, a Da But culture period cemetery site in northern Viet Nam (n = 96), and an aggregated sample from 11 sites, mostly from the Red River delta region (n = 96) representing the emerging Metal period in the same region, is carried out. This study focuses on a range of skeletal and dental signatures of both health and behavior, including carious lesions, antemortem tooth loss, alveolar defects of pulpal origin, dental task wear facets, cribra orbitalia, linear enamel hypoplasia, trauma, and chronic infectious disease. The findings of reasonably good oral health may be reflective of a lack of agricultural products in the diet and/or the low cariogenicity of rice. The physiological health of the samples was found to be compromised, with an elevated mortality among younger individuals that expressed evidence of physiological disturbance as measured by cribra orbitalia and/or linear enamel hypoplasia. The nature and frequency of trauma in both periods was not necessarily indicative of specific behaviors, with general misadventure and interpersonal violence as competing causes. The evidence for chronic infectious disease is apparent only in the Metal period and may be related to a range of factors, some of which include the effects of migration, changes to land use patterns, and/or the evolution of increased pathogen virulence. KEYWORDS: Con Co Ngua, Da But period, Metal period, Viet Nam.
ISSN:1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
0066-8435 (Print)
Appears in Collections: Asian Perspectives, 2006 - Volume 45, Number 2 (Fall)

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