Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Impaired Beakers from Cemetery in Kolín (Brzobohatá, Šumberová, Likovský, 2015)

This is a paper that appeared in Archeologické rozhledy. The scientists look at three Beakers who required long-term care by others. They are an archer, another probable man and a woman with a congenital deformity.

Several months ago there was a paper about a child with Downs Syndrome from an early French burial of the Medieval period. His burial was no different from any of the others and obviously he had been taken care of, and at least in death, was considered a full participant in society.

Different societies treat the lame, crippled, sick and incompetent in different ways. While they may be cared for, maybe they are rejected by society or their treatment in death requires they be buried in a separate location. Disabled Beakers at Kolín appear to have had the same treatment as others.

Fig. 5. Kolín, section II-3, F. 4073, detail of the right hand with the finger ring (Bison bone?).

(4071*) This man was buried with archery equipment and pottery. It's interesting that he'd be buried with a bow since the authors exclude the possibility that he would have been able to shoot it given his physical state.

This individual was a man, about 20-39 years old according to the teeth, or 30-50 based on the pubic bones, had permanent damage as a result of at least two separate incidents. One was a serious fracture to his right arm, an oblique fracture of the right ulna through the radial notch (I'm curious if this individual was weak-sided or left-handed shooter as I've considered this type of injury as a shock injury to a bowman's shooting arm?) If that didn't set him back, he also had another injury that hobbled him for a length of time.

(4073*) This individual, the young 18-20, flat-headed (uncertain gender) seen above, appears to have been the victim of tuberculosis. It's more probable that this individual was a young man and that the left half of his body was severely stunted during development by TB, making gender identification impossible without DNA (hint). In any case there was thinning of the long bones and general weakness. Given the deformation of the hip, this person would have been required help moving.

(4104*) This was a younger woman (20-30) buried with pottery. It appears she has a congenital abnormality of the left hip, leg and part of the spine. She would have been immobile and would have required care her entire life.

(4211) A non-disabled person, but an interesting grave nonetheless. Pottery and apparently, had a horse and stag sacrificed as a grave offering if I understand correctly. (?) (This has been previously suggested an indicator of a Diana-like cult for a similar EBA grave in Ireland. (?)

Discussion follows with the authors citing other examples from other studies, a few from the Morvian region. Clearly these three individuals were non-productive members of society, yet they enjoyed the full status and identity of the community, each having the diagnostic materials of other members of society.

0447842 - ARU-G 2016 RIV CZ cze J - Článek v odborném periodiku
Brzobohatá, Hana - Šumberová, Radka - Likovský, JakubPohřby jedinců s postižením pohybového aparátu na pohřebišti kultury zvoncovitých pohárů v Kolíně, střední Čechy. [Burials of mobility impaired individuals from the Bell Beaker culture cemetery in Kolín, central Bohemia.]

Archeologické rozhledy. Roč. 67, č. 2 (2015), s. 193-212. ISSN 0323-1267

Grant CEP: GA MK(CZ) DF12P01OVV032

Klíčová slova: Eneolithic * trochanteritis * Bell Beaker culture * paleopathology * congenital hip dislocation * ulnar fracture * spatial structure of cemetery Kód oboru RIV: AC - Archeologie, antropologie, etnologie

Antropologická analýza kosterního materiálu z hrobů kultury zvoncovitých pohárů (KZP) odkrytých při záchranném výzkumu silničního obchvatu Kolína (2008-2010) poukázala na koncentraci paleopatologických nálezů na ploše II-3. V příspěvku je popis patologických změn doplněn o spektrum jejich funkčních důsledků a případných limitací určitých aktivit. Příčiny vzniku a rozsah chorobných změn pohybového aparátu se u studovaných jedinců různí (trauma, specifický zánět a vrozená vývojová vada), u všech tří se ale nepochybně jedná o postižení dlouhodobé či (v jednom případě) celoživotní.

Anthropological analysis of skeletal remains from the Eneolithic Bell Beaker culture site of Kolín uncovered during a rescue excavations in 2008-2010 revealed a concentration of paleopathological finds in the section labelled II-3. We present three case studies, descriptions of pathologies manifested in bones and its diagnoses are completed with likely functional impacts and activity limitations. Although the impairments described in the study differ in its severity and etiology (trauma, specific inflammation and congenital anomaly), all of them show evidences of long-term (or lifelong) living with the impairment.

Trvalý link: [Link to the paper]

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