Small Bones and Short Lives: Evidence of Environmental Stress from Juvenile Skeletal Remains in Roman Barcino




Michaluk, Kailer Stephen

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Children have received far less attention than adults in bioarchaeology as it has been believed that little relevant information can be obtained through their study. This is problematic due to the fact that not only are they inherently foundational to any society, but they also provide excellent indication of the overall health of a population. This research looks at two samples of juvenile individuals derived from two Roman necropoleis in Barcino (ancient Barcelona) for evidence of environmental stress. Analysis of each individual consists of examining and comparing the estimated age values derived from maximum femoral and tibial lengths to the ages derived from dental eruption to look for any discrepancies between the values which may indicate possible stress indicators in a particular individual. The incorporated material evidence, burial context of each individual, and presence of palaeopathologies are also analyzed to provide additional information to their socioeconomic status. The results of this study showed that the majority of the individuals within the two samples were calculated to have their long bone ages below their dental ages, suggesting varying degrees of having suffered environmental stress. This research contributes not only to the particularly understudied area of bioarchaeology of children, but also provide new information regarding their health in the context of Roman Hispania.



Osteology, juvenile, Roman, bioarchaeology, Hispania, Barcino, age estimation, palaeopathology, environmental stress, growth, deficiency