Ancient Health: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and Economic Intensification

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Mark Nathan Cohen, Gillian Margaret Mountford Crane-Kramer
University Press of Florida, 2007 - Social Science - 432 pages
Twenty years ago Mark Nathan Cohen coedited a collection of essays that set a new standard in using paleopathology to identify trends in health associated with changes in prehistoric technology, economy, demography, and political centralization. Ancient Health expands and celebrates that work. Confirming earlier conclusions that human health declined after the adoption of farming and the rise of civilization, this book greatly enlarges the geographical range of paleopathological studies by including new work from both established and up-and-coming scholars. Moving beyond the western hemisphere and western Eurasia, this collection involves studies from Chile, Peru, Mexico, the United States, Denmark, Britain, Portugal, South Africa, Israel, India, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Mongolia. Adding great significance to this volume, the author discusses and successfully rebuts the arguments of the "osteological paradox" that long have challenged work in the area of quantitative paleopathology, demonstrating that the "paradox" has far less meaning than its proponents argue.

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About the author (2007)

Mark Nathan Cohen, University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh, is the author or editor of five books, including Paleopathology and the Origins of Agriculture and Health and the Rise of Civilization, a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and Los Angeles Times Book of the Year selection.Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer is adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh.

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