How Did The Shift Of Agriculture Change Personal Activity? Essay

914 Words Oct 29th, 2014 4 Pages
This weeks three articles discussed activity patterns in people from prehistory. They primarily focused on osteoarthritis, biomechanics, and MSM. Each article looked at a population or populations of people and compared types of stressors visible on bone. Degenerative joint disease came up in every article. The first article, An External Agency of Considerable Importance’: The Stresses of Agriculture in the Foraging-to-Farming Transition in Eastern North America, by Larsen and Ruff focuses on the question, how did the shift to agriculture change personal activity? They consider two prehistoric events that account for the changes in agriculture and domestication. The first being the domestication of native weed like plants which occurred 2000-4000 years ago, and the second being the spread and adoption of maize being a domesticated plant during 800 and 1100 AD. In order to address Larsen and Ruff’s question of changes in activity patterns, 3 populations of native people are sampled. The Pickwick Basin in north Alabama, the Lower Illinois River Valley in southern Illinois, and the Georgia Bight on the Atlantic coast of Georgia and Florida. The first sample from the Pickwick Basin suggests that the division of labor shifted with the shift to agriculture and with it the workload changed. Both males and females had visible skeletal changes. To my surprise, females showed changes in both the humeri and the femur, while males only showed change in the femur. Similar results came…

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