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Anthropological analysis of the Antique necropolis Zadar-Relja in context of other Antique necropolises from Croatia


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Novak, Mario. (2008). Anthropological analysis of the Antique necropolis Zadar-Relja in context of other Antique necropolises from Croatia. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Archaeology. [mentor Šlaus, Mario].

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This dissertation presents the results of bioarchaeological analyses of the skeletal sample from the Antique period necropolis Zadar – Relja and comparisons with the Antique period composite skeletal samples from continental Croatia and the eastern Adriatic coast. Basic hypothesis of this dissertation is that the bioarchaeological characteristics of the Zadar and composite eastern Adriatic coast samples are very similar, and therefore suggest somewhat better living conditions compared to the composite sample from continental Croatia. This presumption was based on the geographical location of the analysed Antique populations; that is, different climate and ecological settings, as well as the locality at the border with the barbarians. Paleodemographic analyses show similar ages at death for adults in all three samples with a somewhat shorter average life span and increased mortality rate between 16 and 30 years of age for females in all analysed samples. The frequencies of dental pathologies are relatively low with females exhibiting higher prevalence of dental pathologies in all samples. In all skeletal samples indicators of subadult stress (cribra orbitalia and linear enamel hypoplasia) had a negative effect on average life span. In addition, positive correlations of the indicators of subadult stress and non-specific infectious diseases are present in all three samples. The frequency and distribution of non-specific infectious diseases suggest that males were more prone to developing infectious diseases than females. The possible presence of venereal syphilis has been noted in the Zadar – Relja skeletal sample, thus making it the earliest documented case of that disease in Croatia. Trauma analysis showed higher trauma frequencies in Zadar than in continental Croatia. The frequencies of indicators of physical stress are systematically higher in males than females in all analysed samples which strongly suggest a sexually based division of labour. Analysis of cremated skeletal material from Zadar – Relja necropolis showed that funeral pyres were of lesser intensity and shorter duration and that the sex of the cremated person did not determine the intensity and duration of the funeral pyre. Results of this research prove that there are no differences in living conditions based on the geographical location and the climate settings, but rather that the observed differences are the result of the local socio-economic factors.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
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Uncontrolled Keywords: Antique period, anthropological analysis, Zadar – Relja, continental Croatia, eastern Adriatic coast, dental pathologies, subadult stress, venereal syphilis, bone fractures.
Subjects: Archaeology
Departments: Department of Archaeology
Supervisor: Šlaus, Mario
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2013 08:54
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 13:09

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