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Title: Bioarchaeological insights into disability: skeletal dysplasia from the Iron Age northern China
Authors: Zhou, Yawei
Lu, Yiping
He, Jianing
Li, Ziyi
Zhang, Xiangyu
Zhang, Qun
Yeh, Hui-Yuan
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Zhou, Y., Lu, Y., He, J., Li, Z., Zhang, X., Zhang, Q. & Yeh, H. (2022). Bioarchaeological insights into disability: skeletal dysplasia from the Iron Age northern China. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 32(2), 367-377.
Journal: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Abstract: Skeletal dysplasia is mainly caused by genetic mutations or endocrine abnormality. In this study, a case of disproportionate dwarfism from the Iron Age Beishenjiaqiao cemetery in Xi'an, China is analyzed from the perspective of bioarchaeology. The individual shows disproportionately short stature, with reduced long-bone diaphyseal length especially of both humeri, unfused proximal humerus epiphyses, abnormal development of the shoulder and hip joints, left femoral head necrosis, and unusually gracile left femur and tibia shaft, demonstrating limited mobility and labor capacity. Hypothyroidism, pseudoachondroplasia, and multiple epiphyseal dysplasia are the most likely possible diagnoses although there are other possibilities. By combining the archaeological evidences and historical records, it is speculated that this individual lived a normal life and was well treated during her lifetime. Overall, this rare case concerning dwarfism not only enriches our knowledge of skeletal dysplasia among ancient Chinese in northern China but also demonstrates the humanitarian attitude of ancient society toward the disability.
ISSN: 1047-482X
DOI: 10.1002/oa.3071
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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