Constitutional growth delay in subadults may be caused by chronic illness, malnutrition, and/or undernutrition. Very little is known about the community health of the presumptive forager-farmers of the Late Woodland (~ AD 900-1150) period site of Schroeder Mounds (Henderson County, Illinois). In an effort to increase understanding of community health, the subadults (N=15) were examined by age-at-death for evidence of growth stunting as reflected in forelimb shortening. Crural and brachial indices were calculated for those subadults preserving measurable femora and tibiae and/or measurable humeri and radii. These indices were compared by age category to indices calculated from normal bone lengths taken from published clinical data. Stunting was evident for all ages-at-death in the Schroeder Mounds sample. The stunting was contextualized by assessing the presence/absence of potentially causative or synergistically related skeletally visible chronic health stress indicators (i.e., porotic hyperostosis, cribra orbitalia, linear enamel hypoplasia, periostosis). The results indicated that all subadults exhibited growth stunting regardless of the presence of the quantified health issues. This may suggest that stunting is potentially a free-standing osteological marker of developmental stress. Within Schroeder Mounds, stunting may ultimately be due to various environmental (e.g., harvest or resource shortfall) and cultural (e.g., weaning, child labor) factors.
Nicosia, Christopher; Dorsz, Jessica R.; and Ostendorf Smith, Maria
"Subadult Growth Stunting at Schroeder Mounds (11He177): A Late Woodland Sample from Illinois,"
Field Notes: A Journal of Collegiate Anthropology: Vol. 8
, Article 7.
Available at: https://dc.uwm.edu/fieldnotes/vol8/iss1/7