Cortical bone maintenance in an historic Afro-American Cemetery sample from Cedar Grove Arkansas.код для вставкиСкачать
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 74:255-264 (1987) Cortical Bone Maintenance in an Historic Afro-American Cemetery Sample From Cedar Grove, Arkansas DEBRA L. MARTIN, ANN L. MAGENNIS, AND JEROME C. ROSE School of Natural Science, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002 (D.L. M.); Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003 (A.L.M.); Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteuille, Arkansas 72701 (J.C.R.) KEY WORDS Bone histology, Post-Reconstruction, Osteology, Paleopathology ABSTRACT The relocation and analysis of 80 skeletons from the Cedar Grove Cemetery, located in southwest Arkansas, provides a n opportunity to examine the level of health and nutrition exprienced by Afro-Americans in the post-Reconstruction South (1878-1930). The demographic profile lends support to the interpretation that Cedar Grove participated in the nationwide decline in Afro-American health. The high frequencies of skeletal lesions indicative of dietary deficiencies and infectious disease demonstrate that this was a highly stressed population. For this analysis, adult femoral thin sections (15 females and 14 males) are examined histologically. These data provide support to the assertion that the Cedar Grove population experienced poor health. Measures taken from the sections include cortical thickness, percent cortical area, and mean number of resorption spaces and forming osteons per square millimeter of bone. As a group, they demonstrate low percent cortical area compared with well-nourished normals. They also show high rates of resorption to formation, thereby disrupting the balance necessary for normal cortical bone maintenance. The pattern established for bone porosity in this group is not a function of age but rather is due to other factors, most likely nutrition and disease stress. What may be unique about this group is that males, as well as females, experienced problems with calcium homeostasis and normal maintenance and repair of bone. Taken together, these data support the interpretation that diet and health were substandard in the post-Reconstruction South. Afro-American history is a complex subject which has engendered numerous debates involving not only historians, but anthropologists and demographers as well. In particular, our knowledge of the post-Reconstruction period (1878-1930) is clouded by poor census data, scarce historic documents, and unreliable civil records. This situation has resulted in polarization of historic opinion, with some researchers suggesting that diet, health, and the general quality of life improved after emancipation (e.g., Stampp, 19651, while others contend that the opposite was true (Fogel and Engerman, 1974). Until recently, the skeletal remains of people from this time period have been largely unavailable. Yet, skeletons can provide infor- 0 1987 ALAN R. LISS, INC. mation critical to a n understanding of conditions of life and health during this historic period. Analysis of skeletal remains collected during the relocation of Cedar Grove (3LA97), a rural Afro-American cemetery in southwest Arkansas, is ideally suited for addressing issues of postemancipation health. These data suggest, at least for this sample, that diet, health, and the general quality of life did deteriorate after emancipation. Although both skeletal data and interpretations based on the analytical results from the Cedar Grove Cemetery are reported in detail elsewhere (Rose, 19851, the most salient points are presented here. Received March 4, 1986; revision accepted July 23, 1986. 256 D.L. MARTIN, A.L. MAGENNIS, AND J.C. ROSE The demographic profile of the Cedar Grove Cemetery is indicative of significant dietary and disease stress. The life table constructed from skeletal age-at-death shows that the probability of dying is most similar to Weiss's model life table 15.0-45.0 (1973:118). This model life table is among those representing the most highly stressed populations in the Weiss simulation series. The Cedar Grove infant mortality rate of 27.5% is very high, while life expectancy at birth is only 14 years. The average adult age at death, however, is 41.2 years for males and 37.7 years for females. There is abundant skeletal evidence for dietary deficiencies (refer to Rose, 1985). Slightly more than half of the children dying between 3 and 20 months demonstrate active cribra orbitalia. Healed cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis occur commonly among the adults as well, indicating a significant prevalence of iron deficiency anemia. Some, but not the majority of these lesions, may be attributed to sickle-cell anemia. Nearly onequarter of the children dying between 3 and 20 months also have rachitic cranial lesions indicative of vitamin D-deficient rickets. Patterns of periosteal lesions also suggest that infectious disease was a significant factor contributing to the observed morbidity and mortality profile (refer to Rose, 1985). In addition to the relatively high frequency of rachitic lesions and active cribra orbitalia exhibited by children aged 3-20 months, this group shows high frequencies of active systemic periostitis and endocranial periostitis. All five of the skeletons aged younger than birth and the majority of the 11 neonates exhibit active systemic periostitis. The presence of widespread systemic infection of both prematures and neonates suggests a congenital origin. Taken together these lesions indicate severe dietary deficiencies combined with chronic infections, all contributing to a peak mortality a t 18 months. The adults also demonstrate high rates of infection. Adult males and females exhibit high frequencies of spinal osteophytosis and osteoarthritis of the major joints, hands, and feet. This pattern of degenerative boney changes indicates a hard physical lifestyle with chronic back and joint stress. Accidents and personal violence are common among the males-one-fifth of the sample demonstrates healed cranial fractures. Thus, gross macroscopically observed pathologies and the demographic profile reveal many stresses to which the Cedar Grove community was exposed. However, microscopic analysis of bone can provide a n additional dimension to our understanding of these patterns of morbidity and mortality. In this study, microstructural analysis is used to complement and enhance the interpretations of the biological consequences of this period in Afro-American history. Microstructural features of bone can be used as a model system which provides a window into the past, giving a view of earlier behavior and health of the individual (Frost, 1966). At the histological level, bone is composed primarily of multicellular units called Haversian systems or osteons (refer to Vaughan, 1981). Within a n osteon, mineralized layers of bone are arranged concentrically around a central vascular canal (Fig. la). Bone is maintained by a constant process of resorption of older osteons and formation and mineralization of newer ones. The rate, or balance, of bone formation and resorption varies across age groups and between individuals due to differing biomechanical, nutritional, hormonal, and growth demands (Halstead, 1974; C ~ n y1984; , Frost, 1985). These demands can be met only through skeletal remodeling or turnover. When resorption and formation are not balanced, there can be a net loss of bone, generally referred to as osteoporosis (Raisz, 1982). Bone serves as the primary storage place for calcium and phosphorus. Reserves are accumulated during growth and then released during periods of low calcium intake, poor absorption, or increased demand. Among others, pregnancy, lactation, and biomechanical stress increase calcium expenditure (Sampson and Jansen, 1984). A balance between dietary intake and release of calcium from the bone is essential for maintaining serum calcium levels. Maintenance of serum calcium levels is critical because calcium is necessary for every biological process where there is tissue stimulation coupled to a response (Raisz, 1982). Calcium is also essential for intercellular bridging and communication between cells (Raisz and Kream, 1981).Extreme demands for calcium can and do compromise the integrity of the skeleton. Bone turnover ensures the availability of serum calcium, and several mediating systems involving formation and resorption exist that regulate the flow of calcium. Experimental and clinical research suggests that metabolic disturbances brought on CORTICAL BONE MAINTENANCE 257 tion is examined for Cedar Grove adult samples. Bone quality is assessed through the analysis of resorption spaces and forming osteons, and bone quantity is measured by thickness and cortical area. Assessment of these variables is used to provide a measure of metabolic disturbance, especially undernutrition. Finally, the pattern of bone maintenance and loss is used to evaluate the impact of dietary and disease stress on adult morbidity and mortality at Cedar Grove. MATERIALS AND METHODS Fig. 1. a: Photomicrograph of a femoral thin section a Cedar Grove male aged 40-44 showing many normal and completely formed osteons (A). b: Photomicrograph of a femoral thin section ( X 100) of a Cedar Grove female aged 35-39. A large resorption space (R)is characterized by the highly active, irregular, and scalloped shape of the oversized central canal. Several forming osteons (F)are characterized by their relatively large and smooth canals. ( X 100)of by nutritional deficiencies and disease are reflected in significant increases or changes in the rate of bone turnover. For example, a diet low in calcium, iron, and protein results in slowed bone growth, bone loss, and increased bone turnover (Winter et al., 1972; Mahoney and Hendricks, 1975; Glick and Rowe, 1981). Insufficient protein retards the formation of new bone matrix, and disturbances in calcium metabolism alter the rate of bone mineralization (Parsons, 1981). Demineralization as well as the failure to mineralize existing or forming bone results in both a quantitative and qualitative change in cortical bone (Park, 1964; Garn, 1970; Stewart, 1975). In order to document this process, the relationship between bone resorption and forma- During the construction of a revetment along the Red River, the US. Army Corps of Engineers encountered what was thought to be a small historic cemetery and a prehistoric Caddo farmstead. After determination of elegibility for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, the nine marked historic graves were relocated and the prehistoric site was excavated. During the excavation, a n additional 104 unmarked grave outlines were located. A document search established that this cemetery had been used by the Afro-American community affiliated with the Cedar Grove Baptist Church, which lost use of the cemetery when it was covered by almost 2 m of silt during the 1927 flood. After extensive negotiations and legal determinations, those 80 graves scheduled for destruction by revetment construction were excavated, analyzed, and relocated. The skeletal remains and all associated grave contents were excavated with standard archaeological techniques and analyzed in a field laboratory prior to reburial in a new cemetery plot (Rose, 1985). Both historical and archaeological evidence established that all excavated individuals were interred between 1890 and 1927. In addition to the standard bioarchaeological data (i.e., age, sex, osteometry, pathology, and nonmetric traits), a 5-cm section from the femur midshaft was obtained from 38 of the individuals (31adults and seven subadults). For this analysis, 29 adult femora (14 males and 15 females) are used, ranging in age from 20 through 50+ years (Table 1). Patterns of cortical porosity and maintenance are determined from analysis of the midshaft femoral sections. For purposes of establishing baseline comparative data on size and shape of the cortical bone, mean cortical thickness in millimeters was computed from measurements taken with calipers at eight preselected, equidistant points 258 D.L. MARTIN, A.L. MAGENNIS, AND J.C. ROSE TABLE 1. Adult cortical thickness (CT) in millimeters and percent cortical area (PCA) ID No. Females 81 __ 65 103 14 31 29 39 66 86 93 47 95 21 70 102 Males 55 10 77 15 24 89 92 61 68 82 87 90 96 97 __ Age range CT (mm) PCA (%I 20-24 25-29 25-29 30-34 30-34 30-34 35-39 35-39 35-39 35-39 35-39 35-39 50 + 50 + 50 + 6.16 5.90 5.02 7.25 5.92 5.30 5.31 6.13 6.23 6.66 5.12 5.60 7.51 4.88 6.92 71.01 71.35 66.06 82.37 67.20 76.08 64.27 61.21 71.08 79.09 64.01 68.52 62.22 52.18 80.52 20-24 25-29 25-29 35-39 35-39 35-39 40-44 45-49 45-49 45-49 45-49 45-49 45-49 50 + 6.51 6.17 5.56 7.50 6.74 7.14 7.55 8.01 7.83 6.34 6.63 5.14 6.48 5.66 71.69 62.13 62.38 65.27 65.58 72.34 71.17 74.13 77.56 66.13 64.27 61.47 70.24 56.98 the viewing field was reduced to 1.45 mm in diameter, which provided a field size of 1.65 mm2. Microscopic fields at eight preselected equidistant points around the cortex were examined (Martin and Armelagos, 1979; modified from Ortner, 1975). These points were selected alternately covering four outer (periosteal) and four inner (endosteal) surfaces of the cortex beginning with the linea aspera. The periosteal and endosteal surfaces, or zones, are used in this study to represent the inner and outer halves of the cortex and should not be confused with the periosteum and endosteum proper (which are soft tissue membranes covering boney surfaces). The outer viewing field was placed as close as possible to the periosteum proper, and the inner viewing fields were placed adjacent to the endosteum and the bone marrow cavity. To reduce sampling error, at least 20 osteons per field (or 150 osteons per individual) were examined. Skeletal maintenance is evaluated through the quantification of osteonal formation and resorption episodes. These features are useful for understanding how well the cortical bone is being maintained and permit inference about the amount of bone turnover. If resorption exceeds osteon formation, the result will be porous and poorly maintained bone. In each of the eight periosteal and endosteal viewing fields, total numbers of resorption spaces and forming osteons were counted. Resorption spaces are characterized by round, vascular spaces with scalloped borders. Forming osteons are characterized by a relatively large Haversian canal (Fig. lb). Mean numbers of resorption and formation events for the periosteal and endosteal viewing fields were computed, giving a value of resorption spaces and forming osteons per 1.65 mm2. These values were converted to number of resorption spaces and forming osteons per square millimeter (by dividing the viewing field means by 1.65). around the bone circumference beginning at the linea aspera. This method closely follows the technique outlined by Carlson et al. (1976) and Martin and Armelagos (1979). Cross-sectional area of bone is computed by using a transparent grid of known area superimposed on the bone section (Sedlin et al., 1962). The number of line intersects over bone is counted. Cortical area is computed by multiplying the number of bone intersects by the total grid area and dividing that product by the total possible intersects. Percent cortical area is computed by dividing cortical area by the area of the total cross section (i.e., the area occupied by both cortical bone RESULTS and medullary cavity). Cedar Grove cortical thickness averages for For the purposes of assessing the process of bone maintenance, thin sections were made individuals are difficult to evaluate as a sinfollowing the procedures of Stout and Teitle- gle indicator of bone maintenance and health baum (1976), Baran et al. (19831, and Jawar- (Table 1).A comparison with published femski (1983). The histological structure of the oral cortical thickness measures of prehistorsections was observed with a Vanox bright- ic (Carlson et al., 1976; Martin and Armefield compound microscope. The apochro- lagos, 1979; Thompson and Gunness-Hey, matic flat-field objective was ~ 1 0 and , the 1981) and contemporary groups (Garn, 1970; eyepieces were ~ 1 with 0 a numerical aper- Thompson, 1980) suggests that the majority ture of 0.1. With the magnification at x 100, of the Cedar Grove males and females match 259 CORTICAL BONE MAINTENANCE or exceed normal standards for cortical bone thickness. When cortical thickness is standardized by using femoral length (in order to control for variability induced by stature differences), the normalized values (not shown here) are consistent with values reported by Dewey and co-workers (1969) and Ericksen (1976). Thus, these data suggest that most of the Cedar Grove individuals reaching adulthood very likely followed a normal pattern of bone growth and development for cortical and medullary expansion. As a general rule, normal young adult males have very robust cortices as compared with age-matched females and older males. In the Cedar Grove sample, however, the three youngest males show lower thickness values than the males aged 35-39 (Table 1). This suggests that the youngest males may have experienced a disrupted pattern of childhood bone growth and development. Percent cortical area is a direct function of both cortical thickness and periosteal diameter and is a better reflection of overall bone RMALE Fig. 2. Percent cortical area plotted for Cedar Grove individuals by age and sex. The dotted lines represent ranges for published femoral percent cortical area derived from both prehistoric and contemporary samples representing normal and pathological adults. development and maintenance. In addition, percent cortical area provides a means for assessing intracortical porosity, as any spaces unoccupied by bone are not counted in the computation. The plotted percent cortical areas for individuals by age and sex (Table 1, Fig. 2) show that both males and females exhibit lower values than femoral percent cortical area for prehistoric (Martin and Armelagos, 1979; Mensforth and Lovejoy, 1980; Ruff and Hayes, 1982) and contemporary groups (Garn, 1970; Albanese, 1977).The majority of published values for prehistoric and contemporary males and females fall within the dotted lines on Figure 2. Percent cortical area for Cedar Grove individuals suggests that both males and females in all age categories had problems with bone maintenance. In general, the majority of Cedar Grove adults demonstrate lower values than even nutritionally stressed groups such as the prehistoric Sudanese Nubians (Martin and Armelagos, 1985)and contemporary individuals with clinically significant cases of osteoporosis (Albanese, 1977). The microscopic analysis elucidates the histological processes associated with decreased bone area and poorly maintained bone cortices. Group averages by decade for resorption spaces and forming osteons show that both sexes exhibit more resorption of bone per square millimeter in the endosteal cortex than in the periosteal cortex (Table 2). Females exhibit more resorption spaces per square millimeter of bone than do males, especially in the periosteal cortex. For females in the third decade, there is a n average of 1.8 resorption spaces/mm2 compared with 0.9 for age-matched males. While small sample sizes preclude statistical analyses, it is possible to examine these trends in bone maintenance across the group for the purposes of establishing patterns. TABLE 2. Average number of resorption spaces (RS) and forming osteons (FO) per mm2 for the periosteal cortex (PER) and the endosteal cortex (END) by sex for each decade (standard deviation is in parentheses) Age group Female (n) 20-29 30-39 40-49 50 + (3) (9) (0) (3) 20-29 30-39 40-49 50 (3) (9) (0) (3) + PERiRS END/RS Male (n) 1.8(.6) 1.2(.3) 1.8(.2) 2.7(.4) (3) (3) 1.7(.4) 3.0(.5) (7) (1) PER/FO END/RS 2.5(.4) 2.6(.3) 2.U.3) 2.9(.2) 2.2(.5) 1.8(.4) 13) (3) (7) (1) PERRS ENDiRS 0.9(.3) 0.6(.1) 1.3(.2) 1.3 1.2(.6) 1.5(.2) 1.8(.3) 2.0 PERF0 ENDFO O.K.2) 1.2(.1) 1.0(.4) 2.8 1.8(.3) 1.8(.60 1.9(.5) 2.3 260 D.L. MARTIN, A.L. MAGENNIS, AND J.C. ROSE The pattern of forming incompletely mineralzied osteons is similar to the above pattern for resorption in that females show more forming osteons in all age categories than males except for sixth-decade individuals. Also, both males and females show more forming osteons in the endosteal portion of the cortex than a t the periosteal cortex. The frequency of resorption spaces and forming osteons for the two cortical surfaces by age and sex suggests that at the outer periosteal surface, females and males exhibit different patterns of bone resorption. While females generally demonstrate greater resorption a t the endosteal surface, they also fail to mineralize bone a t the periosteal surface. Males also show resorption at the endosteal surface, but in contrast to females, appear able to maintain bone more consistently at the periosteum. Comparison with published values for number of femoral resorption spaces and forming osteons for contemporary clinical samples (Atkinson, 1965; Jowsey, 1966) and for prehistoric samples (Martin and Armelagos, 1979; Richman et al., 1979; Ericksen, 1980; Thompson and Gunness-Hey, 1981) suggests that Cedar Grove values represent physiologically stressed individuals. Numbers of resorption spaces and forming osteons are relatively high by comparison with published norms and more closely match pathological specimens. Although only a n indirect assessment of mineralization per se can be obtained (since microradiographs of Cedar Grove specimens are not yet available), it appears that these adults had porous cortices. An assessment of the pattern of resorption and formation for young (20-34) and older (35-49) adults with high (above 70%)and low (below 70%) percent cortical area shows that individuals with higher-percent cortical area do have lower numbers of both resorption spaces and forming osteons (Table 3). Although the sample sizes are too small to test for significance, these mean values do demonstrate the important relationship between percent cortical area and the underlying processes of resorption and formation. Individuals with low-percent cortical area have higher numbers of resorption spaces and forming osteons per square millimeter than those individuals with higher-percent cortical area. Those individuals with lower-percent cortical area have a higher amount of bone turnover activity, resulting in more porous cortical bone. For those individuals with greater-per- TABLE 3. Combined male and female average values for resorption spaces (RS) and forming osteons (FO) per mdl PCA < 70% Young adults ages 20-34 Older adults ages 35-49 (RS) 1.1 (.4) (FO) 0.4 ( 5 ) n=5 (RS) 1.8 (.4) (FO) 0.7 (.2) n=G PCA > 70% (RS) 2.6 (.9) (FO) 2.6 (.3) n=4 (RS) 2.3 (.7) (FO) 2.9 (.4) n =9 'The distribution is presented for younger (20-34) and older (3549) age categories by lower (less than 70%) and higher (greater than 70%) percent cortical area (PCA). Standard deviation is in parentheses. cent cortical area, even though the number of resorption spaces exceeds forming osteon number, it appears that newly forming osteons go rapidly on to completion, resulting in low numbers of forming osteons per square millimeter. Finally, Table 3 shows that factors other than the aging process itself are affecting bone maintenance, a s there is little difference between the young and older groups for either high- or low-percent cortical area. The histological profile of Cedar Grove adults suggests a n inability to maintain or form bone at a constant rate. The result is that many individuals have porous cortices and poorly maintained bone. Both males and females exhibit higher ratios of bone resorption to bone formation compared with modern normals (Jowsey, 1965; Ortner, 1975)and nutritionally stressed prehistoric samples (Martin and Armelagos, 1979; Ericksen, 1980). The composite picture for males is resorption of bone in the inner endosteal cortex, with some maintenance of bone integrity in the outer cortex. In contrast to the females, the males are able to complete osteons in the outer periosteal zone, a s evidenced by lower numbers of osteons in the forming stage (i.e., third-decade females have 2.5/mm2, whereas males have 0.8/mm2; fourth-decade females have 2.6/mm2, and males have 1.2/mm2).For females, the picture is somewhat different. While females also resorb bone in the endosteal cortex, they fail to complete osteons in the outer cortex. Using tracer studies, Atkinson (1965) has demonstrated that bone activity in adults is much greater in the femoral endosteal regions than in any other part of the femoral cortex. The high activity occurs along with rapid resorption that presumably makes a CORTICAL BONE MAINTENANCE 261 major contribution to calcium homeostasis. the 1880-1930 national Afro-American Endogenous calcium is not entirely supplied trends indicates that Cedar Grove also expefrom endosteal bone, but also may be aug- rienced an increase in morbidity and mortalmented by small amounts from osteons ity during the post-&construction period. The patterning and types of skeletal lethroughout the cortex. Females, as well as males, in this population appear to have ex- sions a t Cedar Grove suggests widespread perienced problems with both calcium home- dietary deficiencies in protein, vitamins C ostasis and normal maintenance and repair and D, iron, and possibly calcium. These data of bone. support the generalizations from historical sources: the high rate of lactose intolerance DISCUSSION (70-90%) contributed to low milk consumpThe results of this research considered to- tion and calcium deficiency (Kiple and Kiple, gether with the demographic profile, pat- 1977; Kiple and King, 1981); insufficient calterns and prevalence of gross pathologies, cium intake combined with dark skin pigand historic sources provide a composite pic- mentation produced vitamin D-deficient ture of the biological consequences of the con- rickets (Sutch, 1976; Kiple and King, 1981); ditions of life and health around the turn of the low niacin content of the corn and pork the century for the Cedar Grove community. diet resulted in pellagra (Gibbs et al., 1980; Using historic documents alone, it is not pos- Sutch, 1976); the low bioavailability of iron sible to get a clear understanding of Afro- in a corn-baseddiet, combined with inherited American demographic processes between blood abnormalities (e.g., sickle cell) fre1860 and 1930 because of the questionable quently resulted in anemias (Kiple and Kiquality of the 1870, 1890, and 1920 censuses, ple, 1977;Kiple and King, 1981;Sutch, 1976); especially for rural southern Afro-Americans the low amino acid proportions of trypto(Farley, 1970). Utilizing the most reliable of phan, lysine, and methionine in both corn the census data, Farley (1970: 3) observes a and pork proteins contributed to protein malsignificant national trend of declining Afro- nutrition (Kiple and King, 1981); and magAmerican population growth between 1880 nesium deficiency lowered resistance t o and 1940 and suggests that there was a bio- infection (Kiple and Kiple, 1977).From these logical crisis for the entire population at the data we can infer that diet was substandard. turn of the century. The census data were so Comparison of the prevalence and patternstriking that, in 1937, Holmes predicted the ing of skeletal pathologies exhibited in the imminent disappearance of Afro-Americans Cedar Grove series with other slave and An(Holmes, 1937). tebellum skeletal series also suggests that The demographic profile of the Cedar Grove dietary and disease stress at Cedar Grove sample suggests that this population did ex- was pronounced. The frequency of cribra orperience high rates of morbidity and mortal- bitalia in the Cedar Grove series is virtually ity. The life table derived from skeletal age identical to that from a South Carolina planat death is most similar to those model life tation sample (Rathbun, 1987). Infection tables which represent highly stressed popu- rates in the Cedar Grove sample (subadults, lations (Rose, 1985). Despite their limita- 73%; adult males, 60%;adult females, 52%) tions, the Cedar Grove demographic data are are substantially higher than those reported consistent with the 1880-1930 census data, from a Maryland slave sample (adults, 26.3%) which indicate increased mortality and lower (Angel and Kelley, 1987) and an urban free life expectancy during the post-Reconstruc- black population from Philadelphia (adults, tion period. The infant mortality rate of 5.5%) (Angel and Kelley, 1987). Similar to 27.5% is identical to the nonwhite rate de- the prevalence of cribra orbitalia, the frerived from the census data (Farley, 1970:212). quency of infectious lesions at Cedar Grove In contrast, the Cedar Grove adult male and is nearly the same as that from the South female average age at death is not radically Carolina plantation (subadults, 80%; males different from means derived from Antebel- 69%; and females 60%) (Rathbun, 1987). Delum skeletal series, and if anything, they are spite small sample sizes and geographic/culslightly higher (see Angel and Kelley, 1987; tural variation, the patterns of skeletal Kelley and Angel, 1987; Rathbun, 1987). Al- pathology in the Cedar Grove sample sugthough adult mean age at death is similar, gest this population was subject to greater the concordance of infant mortality rate nutritional and disease stress than the An(which is considered to be more reliable) with tebellum populations mentioned above and 262 D.L. MARTIN, A.L. MAGENNIS, AND J.C.ROSE was as highly stressed as the South Carolina plantation population. Analysis of bone histology lends further support to the assertion that, in general, the post-Reconstruction period is characterized by substandard nutritional intake and heavy disease and work loads. As a group, Cedar Grove adults demonstrate low-percent cortical area compared with well-nourished normals. They also show high ratios of bone resorption to formation, disrupting the balance necessary for normal cortical bone maintenance. The observed pattern of bone porosity in this group is not a function of age but rather is due to other factors which are most likely nutrition and disease stress. Numerous studies indicate that younger females are at greatest risk of bone loss because of pregnancy, lactation, and fluctuations in hormonal balance, all of which can have a negative effect on skeletal density (Atkinson and West, 1970; Raman et al., 1978; Smith et al., 1985; Walker et al., 1972). Historical documents suggest that Antebellum and Reconstruction period black females experienced high parity (6-8 children) and breast fed their infants until becoming pregnant again (Farley, 1970; Gutman, 1976). Although we have no documented evidence that women in the Cedar Grove community also practiced lactation until the next pregnancy, any widespread deviation from this norm should have been noted in the available historical sources for Arkansas. The incidence of anemias, premature births, spontaneous abortion, toxemias, and complications in labor increases with each additional pregnancy and can be confounded by a diet low in protein, calcium, and other nutrients (Dieckmann et al., 1951). The historical sources previously summarized indicate that the diet was deficient in quality protein, calcium, vitamins, iron, and other nutrients. The frequency of cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis indicate a high incidence of anemia (due to both iron deficiency and sickle cell) for this group. Experimental research has shown that during periods of anemia, the ability to absorb calcium decreases significantly (Askoy et al., 1966; Mahoney and Hendricks, 1975). This condition in young females could be exacerbated, since pregnancy and lactation double the need for calcium Worthington et al., 1977). In summary, the deleterious and synergistic effects of iron deficiency, and low bioavailability of iron, protein, and calcium at a time when demands are highest is reflected in poor bone quality and quantity for Cedar Grove females. The excessive porosity and failure to maintain cortical bone exhibited by the males deserves special comment. Percent cortical area, as a measure of intracortical porosity, generally falls below 70% for the Cedar Grove males. This is lower than published percent cortical area values for contemporary and prehistoric samples. The relative amount of osteon resorption to formation, especially a t the endosteal cortex, suggests that there was accelerated bone loss combined with a failure to complete newly forming osteons. Further evidence that Cedar Grove males were under extreme stress is supported by the fact that they exceed females in the prevalence of cribra orbitalia, porotic hyperostosis, and infectious lesions. The heavy work load (indicated by degenerative joint disease), high disease stress, and poor diet all would have contributed to poor bone maintenance. This does not explain, however, why percent cortical area of these males frequently falls below that of reproductively stressed females. Historical documents may provide a partial explanation for this abnormal situation. The “slave narratives” collected during the Depression (cited in Donald, 1952) give the impression that the males were so protective of their newly acquired families ke., after emancipation) that they frequently deferred access to limited food resources in favor of their wives and children. This practice in combinaiton with excessive workloads and disease insults could account for the very poor bone maintenance seen in the adult males. CONCLUSIONS The previously established pattern of macroscopically observable skeletal pathologies in the Cedar Grove series suggests that this population was subject to significant nutritional and disease stress. Results of the analysis of bone quality and quantity reported here also suggest that nutritional intake was substandard. Femoral cortical thickness measures are comparable to well-nourished samples. Mean percent cortical area is low for many of the adults when compared with published norms for contemporary and prehistoric groups. The ratio of osteonal formation to resorption demonstrates that resorption of bone was pronounced for both males 263 CORTICAL BONE MAINTENANCE and females, especially at the labile endosteal cortex. While this pattern may be linked to pregnancy and nutritional inadequacy in females, what is important here is that males also demonstrate increased bone resorption relative to formation. We suggest that a combination of factors resulted in the poorly maintained bone observed in the Cedar Grove adults. These include a diet poor in calcium, iron, and protein, a chronic exposure to infectious disease, a rigorous and demanding lifestyle, and occupationally related degenerative skeletal problems. Whether conditions of life and health of Afro-Americans living in the Cedar Grove community declined dramatically during the post-Reconstruction period has not been established, but the data presented are suggestive. The similarity of the subadult demographic profile to the national census data from that time period indicates that Cedar Grove did participate in the nation-wide decline in health. It is not possible to determine whether the quality of the diet declined, but the data clearly support dietary regimen being substandard. Similarly, the pattern and prevalence of pathological lesions indicate a very heavy disease load. That the adults attained normal cortical thickness via normal growth and development as children during the slavery and Reconstruction period suggests that diet and health declined during the post-Reconstruction period. This hypothesis is partially supported by the low cortical thickness values of the three youngest males, who are the only adult males who would have been children during the post-Reconstruction period. Further research using techniques which analyze the cellular and molecular components of bone ultrastructure may provide additional information concerning factors affecting bone growth and development. Major and minor elemental profiles, as well as isotopic analysis of the bone collagen, will give a clearer picture of the types of food utilized by the Cedar Grove,people and of the impact that this diet may have had on health. The building of these types of data bases, which combine gross, microscopic, and molecular analyses, will provide a more complete picture of health and disease for this important historic group. Expanding this data base to a temporal series of samples, analyzed by comparable methods, would enhance our understanding of the effects of social processes on biological history. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Financial support for the Cedar Grove Cemetery project was provided by the US. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, to the Arkansas Archaeological Survey and one of the authors (J.C.R.). Partial financial support for the histological analysis was provided by Hampshire College Dana and IBM faculty development grants to one of the authors (D.L.M.). We wish to thank George J. Armelagos, Alan H. Goodman, and Samual Stout for their comments and suggestions for improving earlier versions of this paper. To the members of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church we extend our deepest gratitude for their permission to undertake this study. LITERATURE CITED Albanese, AA (1977) Bone Loss: Causes, Detection, and Therapy. New York: Alan R. Liss, Inc. Angel, JL, and Kelley, J O (1987)Life stresses of the free Black community as represented by First African~Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 1823-1841. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 74: 199-2 12. Askoy, M, Camli, N, and Erdem, S (1966) Roentgenographic bone changes in chronic iron deficiency anemia. Blood 27:677-687. 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