Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Wolff’s Law states that bone is laid down where it is needed; therefore, mechanical factors, including subsistence-based activity patterns, play a role in bone biology. One of bone’s responses to strain is the development of musculoskeletal stress markers (MSMs) at entheses, or the sites in which soft tissues, including tendons and ligaments, attach to bone. MSMs have been used by bioarchaeologists to make inferences about past population’s activity patterns and subsistence behaviors. The following study scores eight MSMs of the proximal humerii from the Tchefuncte (16ST1) and Greenhouse (16AV2) sites in Louisiana. The MSMs were segregated into muscle groups and tested statistically for bilateral asymmetry, sexual dimorphism, and inter-populational variation to make inferences about handedness, the division of labor, and diachronic changes associated with subsistence activities. The MSMs were also tested for a correlation to body size. The results of this analysis indicate MSM scores are not bilaterally asymmetric. Also, Tchefuncte males have significantly higher MSM scores than females that are not a result of body size, as all the correlation tests for body size and MSM development were insignificant. The results of the tests for inter-populational variation suggest that some activities may have altered with changing socio-political structures; yet, few changes occurred through time in the general workload of these two populations.



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Committee Chair

Listi, Ginesse