Department of Anthropology, Economics and Political Science

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    The hidden embodied stories behind diabetes as racialized health disparities
    (2021) Dawson, Leslie
    Learning Objectives: 1. To describe how the concepts of whiteness and racialization can influence interpretations of health and disease. 2. To outline the DOHaD model and discuss how the concept of embodiment can better reflect the lived experiences of oppression. 3. To explore historic examples of racialized views of diabetes and reflect on factors that can influence the high rates of diabetes among Indigenous peoples in Canada today.
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    “Food will be what brings the people together”: constructing counter-narratives from the perspective of Indigenous foodways
    (2020) Dawson, Leslie
    Learning Objectives: 1. Readers will reflect on how discourse may serve the interests of the dominant colonial groupwhile undermining the worldviews of Indigenous peoples. 2. Readers will explore the connection of different worldviews to the meanings and rituals assigned to food, eating, and mealtime. 3. Readers will relate the importance of constructing counter-narratives based in local Indigenous foodways for Indigenous well-being, identity, and food sovereignty.
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    Insights into Lake Baikal's ancient populations based on genetic evidence from the Early Neolithic Shamanka II and Early Bronze Age Kurma XI cemeteries
    (2021) Moussa, Nour; McKenzie, Hugh; Bazaliiskii, Vladimir I.; Goriunova, O. I.; Bamforth, F.; Weber, A. W.
    Although previous ancient DNA research has contributed to the investigation of middle Holocene culture history and population dynamics in the Cis-Baikal, most of this work has been limited to the Angara valley and southwest Baikal, with only restricted genetic analysis of skeletal materials from the Little Sea microregion. In this paper, we expand upon initial findings by analyzing new mtDNA results from the EN/EBA Kurma XI cemetery (Little Sea area) and the EN Shamanka II cemetery (southwest Baikal). Our results not only contribute to the regional dataset, but also challenge previous findings. First, haplogroup Z was found for the first time in the ancient population of Cis-Baikal. Second, our data provide tentative support for the idea that an exogamous and/or patrilocal marriage pattern might be detectable at the Early Bronze Age cemetery Kurma XI. Third, our results indicate that the EN population of Cis-Baikal may not be as homogeneous in maternal origin as was previously suggested. Similarly, there seems to be less continuity between the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze age samples than previously thought, which further justifies the separation of these groups for future analyses. Finally, our data indicate that the maternal genetic background of the Early Bronze Age sample from Kurma XI is closer to that of known Early Neolithic groups than it is to those from the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. This observation is surprising and, if correct, would seem to directly contradict the previous suggestion of a Middle Neolithic genetic discontinuity. These new findings complicate our understanding of the relationships between middle Holocene populations in the Cis-Baikal.
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    A four-stage approach to re-associating fragmented and commingled human remains
    (2021) Bourgeois, Rebecca L.; Bazaliiskii, Vladimir I.; McKenzie, Hugh; Clark, Terence N.; Lieverse, Angela R.
    Bioarchaeological and forensic anthropological methods are limited in their ability to re-associate human skeletal remains that have been both fragmented and commingled. Although many methods for individualizing commingled remains exist, they are rendered ineffective when the level of fragmentation is high. In these contexts, human remains are often approached similarly to faunal assemblages, regarded as sets of fragmented elements rather than as groups of fragments representing an individual. This paper introduces a new, four-stage approach to identifying discrete individuals from unintentionally fragmented and commingled human remains and salvaging information from highly disturbed cemetery contexts. These stages include documentation, grouping, analysis, and evaluation, each incorporating multiple methods so as to be applicable to a wide variety of assemblages or data availability. Through this process, quantitative analyses are used to evaluate qualitative groupings. This method is applicable to skeletal collections of varying levels of preservation. To demonstrate its application, we apply this methodology to an Early Neolithic (7560–6660 HPD cal. BP) hunter-gatherer cemetery, Moty-Novaia Shamanka (MNS), located in the Cis-Baikal region of Siberia, Russia. MNS was destroyed in the 1990s for urban development and flood management, leaving the ancient skeletal remains severely fragmented and commingled. Our results identified five discrete individual groupings from 1245 human bone fragments, and eight further groupings of related fragments. Through a process of elimination, it was determined that these groupings represented at least seven distinct people. The methodological approach of this study challenges our perception of the informative value of fragmented and commingled human remains and provides an example of how future studies could approach individualization in situations where most context has been lost.
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    Ancestry variation in the accuracy of Rogers's method of sex estimation
    (2020) Simpson, Rachel; McKenzie, Hugh
    Rogers’s (1999) method of human skeletal sex estimation evaluates morphological variation in four traits of the distal humerus. Although this method has the potential for widespread application in forensic and biological anthropological contexts, previous tests have been unable to replicate Rogers’s initial accuracy rate of 92%. Additionally, the role of ancestry in the accuracy of the method has not been sufficiently explored. This study expands on previous blind tests of Rogers’s (1999) original method, though it differs methodologically from prior studies (Ammer et al. 2019; Falys et al. 2005; Harrison 2017; Horbaly et al. 2019; Rogers 2009; Tallman & Blanton 2019; Vance et al. 2011; Wanek 2002; Watkinson 2012) by explicitly controlling for ancestry (85 American Black and 114 American White individuals, as defined in the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection), by seriating humeri according to trait expression, and by using logistic regression in addition to chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests for analyzing the results. The findings determined that the method was 67% accurate overall and that correct classifications were 2.03 more likely for American Whites than American Blacks, posing an important consideration for practitioners of this method.