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Comparison of the mortality profiles of Archaic Middle Woodland and Middle Mississippian skeletal populations.

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Comparison of the Mortality Profiles of Archaic,
Middle Woodland, and Middle Mississippian
Skeletal Populations
ROBERT I,. BLAKELY
D e p a r t m e n t o j Antfzropology, Georgia State University, A t l a n t a , Georgia
ABSTRACT
Mortality profiles were constructed for four American Indian
skeletal populations for the purpose of comparing the frequencies of deaths at
given ages between and within the populations. An interpretation of the differential mortality frequencies is then possible. Selected for study were the Archaic
population from Indian Knoll, Kentucky, an Illinois Archaic series and a Middle
Woodland Hopewellian population, both from the Klunk Mounds in southwestern
Illinois, and a Middle Mississippian population from Dickson Mounds, Illinois.
It was found that in the Archaic populations there were significantly higher
percentages of deaths throughout the first three decades than among either the
Hopewell or Middle Mississippian populations. Although the mortality profiles of
the latter two groups more closely approximated each other, the average age at
death was greater for the Hopewellian population. Suggested are different behavioral adjustments to stress.
However, with a few notable exceptions, the fluctuations in the frequencies
of death follow similar profiles in the mortality curves, indicating that common
to all four populations were certain ages at which time death was more likely to
occur. Various interpretations are offered to explain these periods of greater
mortality.
I n this preliminary report, a n attempt
is made to compare the mortality profiles
of four prehistoric American Indian skeletal populations: two Archaic, a Middle
Woodland Hopewellian, and a Middle
Mississippian series. The mortality curves
illustrate fluctuations in the relative frequencies of deaths occurring within all
age groups. The modes, or apices, of the
curve, which represent greater frequencies of death, may reflect differential stress factors, both physical and behavioral, operative at certain ages. To
interpret the mortality profiles, then, the
investigator must take into account such
forces as subsistence patterns, disease
vectors, conflict behavior, and funerary
practices. By comparing the mortality
curves of different populations, it is possible to distinguish both similar and dissimilar stresses. However, it should be
realized that unrelated causal factors may
produce parallel curves.
AM J PHYS. ANTHROP, 34
43-54.
MATEKlALS AND METHODS
Selected for comparison as a representative Middle Mississippian skeletal population was the Dickson Mounds series of
479 individuals, the data for which were
compiled by the author (Blakely and
Walker, '68). The semilunar-shaped burial
cemetery, one of over 1400 prehistoric
American Indian sites i n Fulton County,
Illinois, is located on a bluff overlooking
the west floodplain of the Illinois River
approximately 35 miles southwest of the
present Peoria, Illinois. Radiocarbon dates
for the Eveland Site, a Middle Mississippian occupation site adjacent to Dickson
Mounds, range from 920 to 1120 AD
(Crane and Griffin, '60).
The Middle Woodland Hopewellian population of 294 individuals, originally analyzed by King B. Hunter ('65), was recovered at the Pete Klunk Mounds. The
burial mounds are situated along the
43
44
ROBERT L. BI,AKELY
Illinois River near its mouth at the Mississippi River in Calhoun County, Illinois.
This mortuary complex contains separate
Archaic, Middle Woodland, and Late
Woodland skeletal series. A radiocarbon
date of 187 AD (Perino, '68) has been assigned to the Middle Woodland Hopewellian burials.
It was the writer's original intent to
utilize the large Archaic Indian Knoll
series of 844 individuals analyzed by the
late Charles E. Snow (Snow, '48). The
burials, excavated from large shell middens located along the Green River in
Ohio County, western Kentucky, have
been radiocarbon dated at 3352 BC (Deuel,
'58). However, the shell date is probably
too early and should be discounted. A
much more likely dating for the site
would be from circa 2500 to 2000 BC (Winters, '69). When the mortality profile was
constructed for the Indian Knoll population, a n abnormally high mode was noted
during the third decade, that is, between
ages 20 and 29 years, representing 41%
of the entire population (fig. 2).
Jensen ('53) has suggested that extensive malnutrition and subsequent mortality may be the result of thiamin deficiencies from the destruction of thiamin by
thiaminase of shellfish. However, the
enzyme i n these foods is destroyed by
cooking, which is known to have been
practiced at that time because of the
presence of hearths with fire-cracked
rocks used in "stone-boiling" (Neumann,
'66). Moreover, thiamin deficiency fails
to account for the disproportionate number of deaths during the third decade.
Because the Indian Knoll burials span
a period of 500 years, i t is possible that
the peak between ages 20 and 29 years
represents deaths incurred during only
a part of the total occupation. External
or internal competition for basic resources,
often coupled with population dispersion,
occurred at various times i n sociocultural
groups with a narrow spectrum economy
such as that of the Indian Knoll Culture
(communication from H. D. Winters). If
this were the case, one would expect a
disproportionately greater number of
burials i n certain strata of the middens.
However, a survey of the depths of the
burials as reported by Webb ('46) does
not reveal a clustering of skeletons which
is confined to any particular temporal
level.
Finally, it should be noted that the sample from a single site of the Indian Knoll
Culture does not necessarily represent the
total population since some midwestern
Archaic groups had seasonal subsistence
patterns that involved occupation of several sitcs in a sequential, annual cycle.
The writer recently had a n opportunity
to examine the Indian Knoll skeletal material and found that Snow had utilized
criteria for assessing age at death which
were substantially different from, and less
rigorous than, those employed by Hunter
and myself (Snow, '48; Stewart, '62,
Hunter, '65; Blakely and Walker, '68).
I n fact, Snow had previously recognized
the inadequacies of his original data, and
in 1959 Johnston and Snow ('61) adjusted
the ages and sexes of the Indian Knoll
skeletons in light of the many refinements
in the procedures for determining skeletal
age and sex. By placing less reliance on
suture closure, the authors substantially
increased the validity of their methodology and, consequently, their results. The
percentage of deaths throughout the
third decade was thus reduced from 41
to 2 4 % . Nevertheless, Stewart ('62) points
out that Johnston and Snow failed to take
into account the frequency of distorted
symphyseal surfaces among the adult
Indian Knoll females (Stewart, '57). I n
addition, continued reliance on dental
attrition as ai accessory means of age
estimalion is a questionable practice since
it is of no more value than suture closure
when it comes to distinguishing a 30 year
old individual from a 40 year old individual (Stewart, '62). Obviously, a comprehensive reanalysis of the ages and sexes
of the Indian Knoll burials is still badly
needed.
In the present study, multiple criteria
for assessing skeletal age at death were
applied discriminately to obtain maximum
accuracy. Subadolescents, neonate to age
12 years, were assigned ages on the basis
of the following criteria. (1) calcification
and eruption of deciduous and permanent
dentition (Dahlberg, '63), (2) linear length
of long bone diaphyses up to age two years
(unpublished regression formula for American Indian skeletal material by K. B.
Hunter), and (3) ossification and fusion
45
MORTALITY CURVES OF PREHISTORIC INDIANS
of bony elements such as the neural
arches of vertebrae (Francis, '40; Noback,
'54). It is generally assumed that the criteria substantiate each other and they
usually do, but in some instances contradictory data make age assessment
somewhat more difficult. I n these cases,
dental development and eruption was
conditionally regarded as the most reliable
indicator of skeletal age, as suggested by
Johnston ('69).
The ages of adolescents (12 through 19
years) were determined from closure of
the basilar suture (communication from
G. K. Neumann) and epiphyseal union of
long bones, taking into account sex differences i n the rate of maturation (Stewart, '54).
According to Krogman ('62), the pubic
symphysis is the most reliable criterion
beyond age 19 years. I n this study, too,
age changes in the symphyseal face (McKern and Stewart, '57) provided the most
accurate and consistent measure of age
and were relied upon when discrepancies
arose. I n addition, epiphyseal union up
to age 28 years (Stewart, '54), dental attrition among the Middle Mississippi
(communication from A. D. Harn), and
endocranid suture closure (Todd and
Lyon, '25), when substantiated by other
criteria or the only available evidence,
were employed to determine the ages of
individuals between 20 and 39 years. Because of the appearance of degenerative
modifications and cumulative developmental changes, it is more difficult to
assess the ages of individuals beyond the
fourth decade. Changes in the pubic symphysis were again regarded as the most
reliable criteria and were utilized in conjunction with suture closure. The presence
of arachnoid granulations (communication from C . K. Neumann), the density
of cortical bone (communication from
A. J. Perzigian), and the incidence and
degree of osteoarthritis (Chapman, '63)
were used as broad markers of age a t
death among mature and senile individuals.
It will be recalled that ages of the Hopewellians were assigned by K. B. Hunter
('65) and the Middle Mississippi by the
author (Blakely and Walker, '68). Both
received their training under G. K. Neumann and therefore the criteria, if not
the assessments, should be the same.
Both Hunter and I have examined skeletons from the two sites and independent
spot checks revealed few significant differences in the ages designated. I am confident that the results of these analyses
are comparable, but I cannot say the
same of comparisons with other mortality
profiles.
To avoid spurious conclusions based
on unreliable information, less consideration has been given the Indian Knoll material and greater reliance placed on data
from the Illinois Archaic series underlying
the Hopewell burials at the Klunk Mounds.
The Archaic skeletons have been radiocarbon dated at 908 BC (communication
from K. B. Hunter). Unfortunately, the
entire sample consists of only 101 individuals.
It is important to realize that mortality
profiles can be constructed in a number
of ways, so that by modifying the age intervals, for example, one is able to change
slightly the shape of the curve to meet
the objectives of the investigator (Vallois,
'60). The writer has chosen to plot the
percentage of the total population dying
within ten-year intervals (fig. 2) to illustrate gross fluctuations and in so doing
has masked smaller but potentially significant modes within the intervals. Because it becomes increasingly difficult
to assign specific ages at the time of death
after the onset of degenerative skeletal
changes and reduced rate of maturation,
ten-year intervals are probably the most
reliable indicators of the mortality frequencies of adults. Subadolescent deaths
are grouped in one-year intervals (fig. 3 ) .
Chi-square tests were employed to determine the significance of the following
frequency distributions: (1) the difference
between the number of male and female
deaths (unsexed juveniles were excluded
from the sample) in all age intervals
within the Illinois Archaic, Hopewell,
and Middle Mississippian series were compared; (2) inales and females in each
series were then pooled and differences
between the three populations compared
at intervals of 0-19, 20-39, and 40 years.
Chi-square value (x') and significance
(p) are listed in table 3. Indian Knoll mortality frequencies were omitted from the
statistical comparison because of the defective data.
+
46
ROBERT L. BLAKELY
RESULTS
The sexual dimorphism of these prehistoric American Indian populations is
great enough to insure consistent and accurate identification of the sex of adolescents and adults. Because there exist no
good criteria for differentiating male and
female subadolescents, no attempt has
been made to separate the sexes o€ infants
and children. The sex ratios for the three
Illinois series deviate little from 50: 50,
ranging from 53% males among the Middle Mississippi and 52% among the Hopewell to 50% among the Illinois Archaic.
When the mortality profiles for the sexes
are plotted independently, the differential
percentages suggest differences i n stress
(fig. 1). In all but the Illinois Archaic
series, there was a greater percentage of
female deaths during the third decade.
For example, among the Hopewell in
which the difference is most apparent,
27% of the adult female population died
50
30
Md.0
10
10
Percentage
30
between ages 20 and 29 years as compared
with 11% of the adult males during the
same age interval. Two possible alternatives may explain the discrepancy. One
reasonable interpretation is that the
higher percentage of females reflects
deaths resulting from childbearing. If, on
the other hand, male deaths a t this age
resulted from activities conducted away
from home and if these inales were not
trxnsported back to the burial cemetery
for interment, a similar ratio of male to
female deaths during the third decade
might be observed. This latter alternative
seems unlikely, however, given the almost
equal proportions of male and feniale
adolescents and adults represented in the
total samples.
The average age at death for the entire
Middle Woodland Hopewell population is
30 years as compared with 27 years among
the Illinois Archaic and 24 years among
the Middle Mississippi. The older mean
50
Fslnale
Ill5nois EopnreU
Fig. 1 Percentages of males and females (unsexed juveniles excluded) dying within tenyear intervals for four prehistoric American Indian populations. Proportions are based on
100% for each sex.
MORTALITY CURVES OF PREHISTORIC INDIANS
age at death for the Hopewellians is due
in part to the relatively few subadolescent
deaths (table 1). Only 28% of the Hopewell individuals died prior to age ten years
as compared with 35 and 48% for the
Middle Mississippian and Illinois Archaic
populations, respectively. The depressed
percentage of infant and childhood deaths
among the Hopewell may well reflect funerary practices. Ethnographic and archaeological evidence have shown that
upon death not all infants were interred
or that, as among some early Mississippian
groups, they were buried in cemeteries
separate from those of adolescents and
adults. Relating to these phenomena is
the fact that Hopewellian societies were
often socially stratified and burial grounds
restricted to particular socioeconomic
groups. If the Hopewell burials from the
Klunk Mounds represent the elite of this
hierarchy, it is probable that greater care
was afforded these select subadolescents
and consequently fewer fatalities incurred.
In the three Illinois populations, the
mean age at death is greater among
males: one year for the Illinois Archaic
(males, 27.5; females, 26.5), four years
among the Middle Mississippi (males, 26;
females, 22), and almost seven years for
the Hopewell (males, 33.5; females, 26.5).
In addition to childbearing, the interpopulational differences may denote sexual
divisions of activities distinctive to each
TABLE I
Frequency and percefitage of deaths (sexes combined) within ten-year intervals for four
prehistoric American Indian skeletal populations (N, total sample size;
f,fiequency within interval; F , cumulativefiequency)
F
Age interval
f
0-9
10-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70-79
314
95
344
64
18
6
3
0
0-9
10-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70-79
49
11
7
11
12
6
5
0
0-9
10-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70-79
82
24
39
41
55
24
20
9
0-9
10-19
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60-69
70-79
169
46
74
76
70
25
17
2
Per cent
Cumulative per cent
Indian Knoll Archaic (N = 844)
314
409
753
817
835
84 1
844
844
37
11
41
8
2
1
37
48
89
97
99
100
0
0
100
100
Illinois Archaic (N = 101)
49
60
67
78
90
96
101
101
48
11
7
11
12
6
5
0
48
59
66
77
89
95
100
100
Illinois Hopewell ( N = 294)
82
106
145
186
24 1
265
285
294
28
8
13
14
19
8
7
3
28
36
49
63
82
90
97
100
Illinois Middle Mississippi (N = 479)
169
215
289
365
435
460
477
479
47
35
9
15
16
14
6
4
1
35
44
59
75
89
95
99
100
48
ROBERT L. BLAKELY
group, It is conceivable that the role of
the male may have become less hazardous
by the late Middle Woodland Period, perhaps with the shift in emphasis from a
hunting and gathering subsistence economy to one of cultivation, as Caldwell
(‘58) has suggested on the basis of settlement patterns in the Illinois Valley. However, there is little paleobotanical evidence
for the cultivation of either corn or beans,
although there may have been other cul-
tigens at that time. It is possible that a
pattern like that of the Iroquois may have
pertained, with women doing the cultivating and males continuing their traditional activities of hunting and expanding
the importance of warfare (communication from H. D. Winters).
While there are obvious differences in
the frequency distribution of male and
female deaths, the results of the chisquare tests point up the fact that these
TABLE 2
Frequency a n d percentage of deaths (sexes combinedjfrom birth to ten years in one-year
intervals for four prehistoric American Indian skeletal populations (N, sample
size; A frequency within interval; F, cumulativeP-equencyj
Age interval
0-0.9
1-1.9
2-2.9
3-3.9
4-4.9
5-5.9
6-6.9
7-7.9
8-8.9
9-9.9
f
F
Indian Knoll Archaic (N = 314)
150
150
17
39
189
5
3
28
21 7
45
262
5
7
269
1
8
277
1
7
284
1
14
298
2
1
9
307
7
314
1
0-0.9
1-1.9
2-2.9
3-3.9
4-4.9
5-5.9
6-6.9
7-7.9
8-8.9
9-9.9
19
5
3
6
2
3
4
2
3
2
0-0.9
1-1.9
2-2.9
3-3.9
4-4.9
5-5.9
6-6.9
7-7.9
8-8.9
9-9.9
23
17
15
3
3
3
6
0-0.9
1-1.9
2-2.9
3-3.9
4-4.9
5-5.9
6-6.9
7-7.9
8-8.9
9-9.9
Per cent
6
3
3
Cumulative per cent
17
22
25
30
31
32
33
35
36
37
Illinois Archaic (N =: 49)
19
18
24
5
27
3
33
6
35
2
38
3
42
4
44
2
47
3
49
2
18
23
26
32
34
37
41
43
46
48
Illinois Hopewell (N = 82)
23
8
40
6
5
55
58
1
61
1
64
1
70
2
76
2
79
1
82
1
8
14
19
20
21
22
24
26
27
28
Illinois Middle Mississippi
71
71
30
101
19
120
16
136
8
144
3
147
7
154
-~
7
161
6
167
2
169
~
(N = 169)
1s
~.
6
4
4
2
1
1
1
1
0
1 5_
-
21
25
29
31
32
33
34
35
35
MORTALITY CURVES OF PREHISTORIC INDIANS
discrepancies may be due to chance,
rather than to sexual differences in behavior. There are no significant differences between the mortality frequencies
of males and females in the Illinois Archaic, Hopewell, and Middle Mississippian
populations.
Chi-square tests were then employed to
ascertain the significance of the differences among the mortality curves of the
three Illinois series in which the sexes
were combined. Tests were conducted for
three age intervals, 0-19, 20-39, and 40-t
years. In the Illinois Archaic sample, there
are more deaths than expected in the
0-19 age-group and relatively fewer deaths
than expected in the 20-39 and 4 0 + agegroups (table 3). In the Illinois Hopewell
series, more deaths than expected were
incurred in the 4 0 f age-group. These
deviations may reflect sampling errors
or, conceivably, differences in levels of
subsistence and technological understanding of childbearing. If one considers deviations among the three populations for
any one of the given age-groups, they are
significantly different (table 3 ) .
Following the expected high frequency
of neonatal deaths in all but the Illinois
Hopewell population (table 2 ) and subsequent decline in mortality is a relatively
AP
49
small mode between ages three and four
years (fig. 3 ) . It has been suggested that
the higher mortality frequency at this age
reflects unsuccessful weaning, that is, a
failure on the part of the infant to successfully make the transition from a
lactiferous to a hard diet (Blakely and
Walker, '68). Substantiative evidence of
avitaminosis, such as an increase in the
incidence of dietary deficiency diseases
like rickets, and possibly osteoporosis, is
unavailable at this time. This mode has
been observed i n several skeletal populations (Johnston and Snow, '61; Hunter,
'65; Angel, '69) and is probably a manifestation of many related and unrelated
factors. Angel ('69), €or example, reports
that a high incidence of porotic hyperostosis in juveniles from several Bronze
Age populations (Lerna IV, V, VI) may
be indicative of anemia from abnormal
hemoglobins.
A less pronounced increase in the mortality frequency occurs between ages five
and eight years among the Illinois Archaic and Hopewellian populations (fig. 3).
The deaths represented by this mode may
be attributable to fatalities resulting from
aboriginal childhood diseases. How ever,
because infectious diseases of this nature
rarely produce bony lesions, ft is difficult
7
Mortality profiles of four prehistoric American Indian populations (sex combined)
, I n d i a n Knoll Archaic (Snow, '48);
Illinois Archaic; ' . . . . . . ' . . . . . . . ., Illinois
Hopewell ; ___ , Illinois Middle Mississippi.
Fig. 2
------------i
50
ROBERT L. BLAKELY
TABLE 3
Three-by-three contingency table comparing t h e distribution of mortality frequencies among
uqe-qrvups 0-19,20-39, a n d 40 years in t h e three Illinois series (sexes c o m b i n e d )
+
40
20-39
0-19
+
Age-group
Observed
Illinois
Archaic
d
d2/e
Hopewell
d
d21e
Middle
Mississippi
d
d21e
Expected 1
Observed
Observed
Expected
Total
60
(44.02)
18
(28.65)
23
(28.22)
101
106
( 128.15)
80
(83.40)
108
(82.43)
294
215
(208.79)
150
(135.89)
114
(134.31)
479
Total
248
38 1
x2 = Zd2le
= 27.37,
p < 0.001
1
Expected
8 74
245
df3 = 4
Expected frequency values obtained o n the basis of marginal probabilities.
to substantiate this hypothesis. The fact
that prehistoric American Indian children
suffered disabilitating diseases is evidenced by the presence of Harris' lines
of arrested growth in subadolescents of
all three Illinois populations (Morse, '69).
Following the anticipated decline in the
mortality frequency during adolescence is
a substantial increase in the number of
deaths during the third and fourth decades referred to above and attributed
primarily to childbearing (fig. 2). Among
the Middle Mississippian females, there
are more deaths late in the childbearing
years; 37 females died between the
twenty-eighth and thirty-fifth year as
25%
1
0
A@
2
3
h
5
6
7
8
9
lo
in p a r s
Fig. 3 Mortality profiles of four prehistoric American Indian populations expanded to s,how
mortality from birth tv ten years (sexes combined). -.-.-.-.-.-.,Indian Knoll Archaic (Snow, 48);
__________ _- Illinois Archaic; . . . . . . . . . . . . , Illinois Hopewell;
, Illinois Middle Mississippi.
MORTALITY CURVES OF PREHISTORIC INDIANS
51
contrasted to 24 fatalities between the ent because of the incomplete data upon
twentieth and twenty-seventh year. On the which we are forced to rely. Perhaps,
other hand, examination of female pelves then, attention should be directed to the
reveals that multiparous individuals, ir- striking similarities between the mortality
respective of age, were in no greater dan- profiles. It is because the curves approxger of dying than any other segment of imate one another that an attempt has
the population (Blakely and Walker, ’68). been made to explain why there are cerIt is between ages 30 and 40 years that tain ages common to all three Illinois
the combined male and female mortality populations at which time death was more
profiles misrepresent the data, for among likely to occur; and it is important to identhe three Illinois populations the percent- tify and understand these similarities, for
age actually denotes a bimodal curve with not only do they furnish the investigator
higher frequencies both early and late with valuable demographic information
in the decade separated by a relatively as such, but they also provide him with a
low percentage at the median. Further- framework for recognizing and explaining
more, the frequency at the beginning of the equally significant differences.
the decade is probably the right hand tail
For example, in figure 4 the frequency
of the curve between ages 20 and 29 years. distribution of the Middle Mississippi is
Thus the slope may represent the cessa- compared with mortality profiles of various
tion of childbearing, perhaps due to the Old World populations antedating the
onset of menopause. A concomitant re- Illinois occupation. The figures are from
duction in the number and degree of Krogman (’58). As previously stated, cauhazardous activities at this age may have tion should be exercised when interpreting
this data because of nonstandardized
contributed to this decline in mortality.
The large number of deaths late in the methodologies for assessing skeletal age
same decade represents the initial slope as well as environmental and racial difof the so-called old age mode most evident ferences. In figure 4, top, the Middle Misin the profile of the Illinois Hopewell, sissippian curve approximates those for
which subsequently declines in the ter- Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon series in
minal decades (fig. 2). By age 50 years, terms of population distribution. HOW82% of the Hopewell population had died ever, the Mesolithic profile is dissimilar
as compared with 89% among both the and, indeed, resembles the defective InIllinois Archaic and Middle Mississippi dian Knoll mortality profile (fig. 2). The
(table 1). There is little evidence of Egyptian and Austrian Bronze Age curves
trauma-induced diseases within this age (fig. 4, bottom), while close to each other,
group; rather, these old age deaths are are unlike the distribution of the Middle
the result of degenerative changes and Mississippi or Illinois Archaic and Hopeheightened susceptibility to infectious well series shown in figure 2. Johnston
diseases which proved fatal. Degenerative and Snow (’61) attribute the reduced subdiseases, such as arteriosclerosis, aneur- adult mortality and greater mean age at
ysms, brain tissue necrosis, and several death among the Bronze Age Austrians
forms of cancer including carcinoma, and Egyptians to the fact that these
cannot be detected osteologically and are groups belong to cultural levels more
therefore lumped together under the technologically and economically adnebulous heading “old age diseases.”
vanced over that of prehistoric American
Indians in the Midwest.
CONCLUSIONS
This trend toward greater longevity,
By comparing the mortality profilcs of which is continuing today, is reflected in
the Archaic, Middle Woodland Hopewel- an increasing average life expectancy in
lian, and Middle Mississippian skeletal most areas of the world. It will be remempopulations, certain discrepancies are bered that the mean ages at death for the
noted, and one is inclined to attribute Illinois Archaic, Hopewell, and Middle
these variations to differential ecological Mississippian populations were 27, 30,
and behavioral stress factors operating and 24 years, respectively. Krogman (’58)
upon each of the populations. However, reports the average in urban Rome of
such interpretations are tenuous at pres- 2000 years ago to be about 20 years; i t
52
ROBERT L. BLAKELY
D
Fig. 4 Mortality profiles of the Middle Mississippi and some Old World populations
antedating the Illinois occupation. (All but the American Indian profile after Krogman, '58.)
was 35-39 years in 11-13th century
England and just under 50 years in 1900
AD in the United States.
With this information, it becomes increasingly possible to formulate generalized conclusions concerning the lives of
the people discussed in this study. It has
been my objective to provide data which,
pending further archaeological and bioanthropological analyses from these and
other sites, may contribute to a greater
understanding o f prehistoric man in the
Illinois Valley and elsewhere.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am indebted to Professor King B.
Hunter for granting permission to utilize
his unpublished data and to Dr. Georg
K. Neumann and Dr. Howard D. Winters
for their informative suggestions
critical reading of this paper.
and
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