Health and demography in late 19th century Kimberley : a palaeopathological assessment

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Health and demography in late 19th century Kimberley : a palaeopathological assessment

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Health and demography in late 19th century Kimberley : a palaeopathological assessment
Author: Merwe, Alie Emily van der
Publisher: Barge's Anthropologica, Leiden
Issue Date: 2010-09-08
Keywords: Dentalpathology,
Kimberley
Migrant labour
Mining
Palaeohistopathology
Palaeopathology
Skeletal analysis
Abstract: One-hundred-and-forty-five unmarked graves were accidentally uncovered outside the Gladstone cemetery in Kimberley, South Africa, in 2003. This study aimed to describe the archaeological findings, demographic composition and health of the unknown human remains excavated from the site. Fifteen graves containing 107 skeletons were exhumed from the trench and analyzed using standard anthropometric techniques. Archaeological and palaeopathological evidence suggested that the remains were most likely those of migrant mine workers who died between 1897 and 1900, with the majority of the population consisting of young male individuals of low socio-economic status. The prevalence of infectious diseases observed in the sample, most likely reflects the pre-antibiotic era from which these individuals came as well as the overcrowded and unhygienic living conditions to which they were exposed on a daily basis. High frequencies of cranial and long bone fractures observed are testimony to the high levels of interpersonal violence and hazardous mining environment described in archival documents. Other pathological lesions such as spondylolysis, Schmörl's nodes and enthesophytes are possibly indicative of the physical demands associated with mining activities. These results support reports describing the appalling conditions and hazards to which migrant mine workers were exposed to in the late nineteenth century
Description: Promotores: G.J.R. Maat, M. Steyn
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: LUMC
Citation: Merwe, A.E. van der, 2010, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
Series/Report no.: Barge's anthropologica serie ; No. 14
ISBN: 9789078943020
Sponsor: South African Research Foundation, NAVKOM, Stichting Nederlands Museum voor Anthropologie en Praehistorie
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/15931
 

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application/pdf Chapter 10 General discussion 601.0Kb View/Open
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application/pdf Curriculum vitae 572.2Kb View/Open
application/pdf Acknowledgements 679.8Kb View/Open
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