Universiteit Leiden

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A sense of society

This dissertation examines how we can reconstruct physical activity by looking at variations in the shape of muscle attachment sites ( ‘entheses’) on the human skeleton. It evaluates two post-medieval contexts; rural Middenbeemster and urban Aalst.

J.L.A. Palmer
20 March 2019
The publication in Open Access

Entheseal change as an indicator of physical activity in the Post-Medieval Low Countries: potential and limitations

Findings show societal differences in the sexual division of labor, but also remind us not to over-simplify the lives of people in the past, nor underestimate the complexity of the human body and its varied response to strain.The dissertation also broaches an entirely new field of study; variation in appearance of entheses in growing, individuals. By developing a standardized method, it lies the foundation for research into activity reconstruction in children from both archaeological and forensic settings. Ultimately, it provides the reader with a comprehensive study of the potential and limitations of entheses for activity reconstruction. In doing so, it presents a glimpse into life in the past.

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