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Title: Musculo-skeletal stress markers in bioarchaeology : indicators of activity levels or human variation? : a re-analysis and interpretation
Author: Henderson, Charlotte
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 1122
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2009
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Musculoskeletal stress markers (MSM) have been widely used by bio-archaeologists as indicators of physical activity. These markers occur at the sites of attachment of soft tissue to bone. They are anomalies of bone formation or destruction at these sites and often called enthesopathies in clinical literature. The aims of this research were firstly to determine the aetiology of these features; in particular, whether they can be used as indicators of physical activity. Secondly, to create a new digital and quantifiable recording method, that is both cheap and simple to use. To achieve the first aim, several literature reviews were undertaken: of the bio-archaeological literature; of the anatomy of the attachment sites; of the relationship between trauma and enthesopathy formation; and of the relationship between enthesopathy formation and disease. Many diseases, for example DISH and ankylosing spondylitis, were found to be associated with enthesopathy formation. Findings of these reviews indicated current bio-archaeological recording methods and interpretive practises are at odds with clinical literature. The second aim had to take these factors into account. Pilot studies were undertaken to develop a new recording method. The final method used visual recording and measurement of enthese along with digitalisation of the surface in two-dimensions using a profile gauge. The digital curves were then quantified using roughness parameters commonly used in materials science. These described the surfaces and could also be used to determine whether this method was applicable to differentiate between normal entheses and those with enthesopathies. Discriminant function analysis demonstrated that this was possible. Stringent diagnostic criteria were also set in place to remove any individuals with possible disease-related enthesopathies. Using the same method, it was found that these could (in some circumstances) also be differentiated from the normal samples.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available