Dental Enamel Hypoplasia at Roonka Flat: A Record of Hunter-gatherer Variability

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dc.contributor.advisor Littleton, J en Smith, Caitlin en 2016-06-22T00:03:59Z en 2016 en
dc.identifier.citation 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Patterns of enamel defects at Roonka, a large burial place along the Murray River in South Australia (8,000 BP – 200 BP), can illuminate aspects of behaviour and biology in the late Holocene. This illumination is not simple however, as it hinges on important assumptions that must be made when interpreting skeletal evidence. Based on palaeopathological models from different continents, this evidence has been used in Australia to support an interpretation of poor health, sedentism, and territoriality. In the Australian context, this has led to the ongoing use of bioarchaeological data to support arguments of intensification. The archaeological evidence for intensification and the idea of a continental narrative of late Holocene demographic change has been challenged on multiple fronts. In order to appreciate implications of local variability, an alternative approach emphasizes the regional environmental and social contexts of sites. Local contexts and behavioural flexibility played important roles in a diverse history of human occupation in Australia. Distinguishing these roles from the arguments for widespread intensification requires a shift to more detailed methodologies. In this thesis a detailed approach is applied to interpretations of enamel hypoplasia at Roonka using both macroscopic and microscopic methods. First, hypoplasia is assessed macroscopically across the dentition in order to assess variation in the number, types, and timing of defects (n=130). Secondly, lower canines (n=66) are observed under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) in order to obtain finer detail in the timing of defects and the time intervals between defects. Data on growth disruptions in childhood overwhelmingly indicate a diversity of experiences. This variability in the individual experience means that skeletal indicators of growth disruptions must be contextualized within the local bio-cultural environment in which they formed. While patterns of enamel hypoplasia do not prove or disprove models of sedentism and poor health in the late Holocene along the Murray River, detailed evidence suggests a more complicated story of individual variation at Roonka. Keywords: enamel hypoplasia, teeth, dental development, hunter-gatherers, sedentism, intensification, late Holocene, Roonka, Australian Archaeology, Murray River, palaeopathology. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264881009802091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title Dental Enamel Hypoplasia at Roonka Flat: A Record of Hunter-gatherer Variability en
dc.type Thesis en Anthropology en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 531245 en Arts en Social Sciences en Anthropology en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-06-22 en

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