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Novak M.,University College Dublin | Novak M.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Archives of Oral Biology | Year: 2015

Objective With the aim to get a better picture of dental health, diet and nutrition in early medieval Ireland a population-based study focusing on several attributes of oral health in adult individuals was conducted. The study focused on possible differences between sexes and age groups in terms of frequency and distribution of studied pathologies in order to determine whether these differences result from different diets, cultural practices or are age-related. Design Permanent dentitions belonging to adult individuals from five Irish early medieval sites were examined for the evidence of caries, ante-mortem tooth loss, abscesses, calculus, alveolar bone resorption and tooth wear. All pathologies were analysed and presented by teeth and alveoli. Results A total of 3233 teeth and 3649 alveoli belonging to 167 individuals (85 males and 82 females) were included into the analysis. Males exhibited significantly higher prevalence of abscesses, heavy wear and alveolar bone resorption, while females exhibited significantly higher prevalence of calculus. All studied dento-alveolar pathologies showed a strong correlation with advanced age, except calculus in females. Additionally, dental wear associated with habitual activities was observed in two females. Conclusion The results of the present study confirm the data gained by written sources and stable isotopes analyses suggesting the diet of the early Irish was rich in carbohydrates with only occasional use of meat. Furthermore, significant differences between the sexes in terms of recorded pathologies strongly suggest different nutritional patterns with females consuming foods mostly based on carbohydrates in comparison to males. The observed sex-differences might also occur due to differences between male and female sex such as reproductive biology and pregnancy, a somewhat different age distributions, but also as a result of different cultural practices between the sexes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Freidline S.E.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Freidline S.E.,City University of New York | Freidline S.E.,University of Tübingen | Gunz P.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2012

The Zuttiyeh hominin craniofacial fossil was discovered in Israel in 1925. Radiometric dates and the archaeological context (Acheulo-Yabrudian) bracket the associated cave layers to between 200 and 500ka (thousands of years ago), making it one of the earliest cranial fossils discovered in the Near East thus far. Its geographic position, at the corridor between Africa and Eurasia, in combination with its probable Middle Pleistocene date make it a crucial specimen for interpreting later human evolution. Since its discovery, qualitative descriptive and traditional morphometric methods have variously suggested affinities to Homo erectus (Zhoukoudian), Homo neanderthalensis (Tabun), and early Homo sapiens (Skhul and Qafzeh). To better determine the taxonomic affinities of the Zuttiyeh fossil, this study uses 3D semilandmark geometric morphometric techniques and multivariate statistical analyses to quantify the frontal and zygomatic region and compare it with other Middle to Late Pleistocene African and Eurasian hominins.Our results show that the frontal and zygomatic morphology of Zuttiyeh is most similar to Shanidar 5, a Near East Neanderthal, Arago 21, a European Middle Pleistocene hominin, and Skhul 5, an early H.sapiens. The shape differences between archaic hominins (i.e., Homo heidelbergensis and H.neanderthalensis) in this anatomical region are very subtle.We conclude that Zuttiyeh exhibits a generalized frontal and zygomatic morphology, possibly indicative of the population that gave rise to modern humans and Neanderthals. However, given that it most likely postdates the split between these two lineages, Zuttiyeh might also be an early representative of the Neanderthal lineage. Neanderthals largely retained this generalized overall morphology, whereas recent modern humans depart from this presumably ancestral morphology. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Orlic O.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Journal of Marine and Island Cultures | Year: 2013

In this paper the author deals with the claiming of Korčulan identity for Marco Polo as an invented tradition. According to some, the combination of Korčulan archive data, Korčulan family names and some historical facts give the island's inhabitants the opportunity to question Marco Polo's "Venetian origin" and attempt to claim that he or his family originated on the island. The author analyzes the attitudes and opinions of local residents concerning the issue and discusses it in the framework of the concept of invented tradition. The contemporary use of Marco Polo name as a symbol for Korčula Island reveals its great potential for tourism. © 2013.


Missoni S.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Collegium Antropologicum | Year: 2012

Although Croatia is divided into continental and insular subpopulation which practice different dietary habits, a general shift in nutritional habits has been observed in the direction of globalization, including considerably higher intake of red meat, saturated fatty acids, milk, dairies etc. and accompanied by a decrease in physical activity. These relatively abrupt changes have had an especially significant impact on the insular populations, known for their traditional Mediterranean diet and have led to the increased prevalence of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, coronary heart diseases etc. on Croatian islands. Since the expression of genes responsible for the occurrence of complex diseases can be enhanced in isolated populations due to the effect of evolutionary forces, genetic-epidemiological research in population isolates is of great importance, giving us insight into the interplay between intrinsic (genes) and extrinsic risk factors (diet) for disease development.


Human body is dinamic, energetic system under the influences of food intake, environment, interpersonal relationships, inheritance, culture and human activities. The environmental and psychosocioeconomic factors affect the individual’s health altering the performance of biological systems effecting disease risk and disease progression. The concerns in modern society are more and more devoted to stress and its influences on health. Life span is extended but the quality of life, well-being and productivity usually do not follow that extention. Body is a flow of energy and dynamic comunications with inside and outside environment. The way to improve health is to address its social determinants. Only in sinergy the questions about disease and health could be better understood. It is not enough to diagnose illness, important is to diagnose circumstances and environmental influences that consequently lead to disease. Emotional disruptions make base for physical disruptions. Social gradient and stress involving personal life and work is a significant factor in physical and mental illness. The best indicator of the successful social policy result is the sense of well-being of the inhabitants. Holistic approach to a patient and discussions about the influences in patient’s life can lead to a better health outcome. Anthropology studies people’s habits, means and conditions of life and can be the bridge between the medicine and the life circumstances that put people’s health at risk providing important insights into health and disease and assist in public health policies, preventive measures and health improvement of the populations. © 2014 Croatian Anthropological Society. All rights reserved.


Jankovic I.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Periodicum Biologorum | Year: 2015

Humans are primates, and as such, our overall anatomy is very similar to that of other members of this biological order. Yet, there are numerous differences in certain anatomical regions of living humans when compared to our closest living relatives, the African great apes. Many of these, such as our extremely large brains compared to body size (even if all primates have relatively large brains), details in dental anatomy, and so on, appear at different times in our evolutionary past and within the tribe hominini. However, the first, and taxonomically most significant synapomorphy of the hominin clade is a change in locomotory mode, from that of a quadruped (presumably the ancestral state in last common ancestor (LCA) of humans and apes) to biped. In this paper, a brief overview is given of the most important anatomical challenges that these novel locomotory patterns required to be enegretically efficient, as seen in the comparison between living African apes and humans. Further, an overview of the fossil record, as related to the issues raised, is given. Lastly, the importance of understanding evolutionary adaptations and changes for the medical profession is discussed. © 2015 Croatian Society of Natural Sciences. All rights reserved.


Rajic Sikanjic P.,Institute for Anthropological Research | Vlak D.,University of Toronto
Rheumatology International | Year: 2010

Analysis of 25 skeletons from Late Medieval cemetery Uzdolje-Grablje near Knin, Croatia, revealed three cases of systematic pathological changes to joints. Observed pathological lesions were examined macroscopically and radiologically and compared to the available paleopathological standards in order to formulate a differential diagnosis. In all three cases observed changes were most consistent with autoimmune joint diseases including ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Based on published clinical studies, we suggest that the high prevalence of autoimmune diseases in our skeletal sample stems from the genetic basis of the autoimmunity, and that three individuals describe here are possibly closely related. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.


Durakovic Z.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Periodicum Biologorum | Year: 2013

The paper deals with changes of human organism during physiological aging. Initially changes occur in internal organ function, followed by morphological changes of particular organs. The body start showing signs of growing old at the beginning of the fourth decade. Some organs age faster as the kidneys, while others age slower such is the liver. Among the general changes which occur along with aging, body mass increases as a result of fatt tissue increase, but decreases in highly advancing age. Changes of body water also occur and is reduced by about 10-15 % in comparison to middle-aged persons. The human body contains more extracellular than intracellular water and that is why is greater plasma volume with advancing age. The quantity of the connective tissue in heart muscle increases, particularly in the endocardium and the epicardium, while the pigment lipofuscin is deposited in the myocardium. From the beginning of the fourth decade, cardiac output decreases by about 1% yearly, stroke volume decreases for about 0.7%, and peripheral vascular resistence increases for about 1.2% yearly. In the respiratory system, from the fourth decade the number of cilia diminish, alveolar macrophages are less efficient, lung elasticity decreases, sternocostal joints became inelastic, chest expansion is diminished, the speed of expiratory air can be reduced. In the kidneys changes in blood vessels leading to the alteration of nephron function. The number of capillaries dwindles, influencing both glomerular and peritubular parts, the total weight of the kidneys can be reduced, the connective tissue increases as the basalmembrane become thicker. Glomerular capillaries degenerate and are bridging by arterioles. Other internal organs change with advancing age also.


Lah J.,Institute for Anthropological Research
Collegium antropologicum | Year: 2013

This paper describes the project ANTRONA aimed at constructing basic anthropological terminology that covers the entire range of anthropology as a science. It is a part of national language planning oriented terminology management for the Croatian language, and as such it is focused solely at the production of a terminographic database. The major difficulties encountered during the procedural stages of the project are outlined, such as the wide range of the interdisciplinary field of anthropology, including concepts and terms from natural and social sciences and humanities, as well as polysemy and fuzzy boundaries between the lexicon of the general language and specialized language. On the basis of several examples, we argue that terminography should be dealt with primarily by keeping in mind the range of its subsequent applications the aim of which is not only ontological, but also communicative in nature, and that functional pragmatic approach offers a more flexible framework for dealing with the demands of terminology in such an interdisciplinary field.


Slaus M.,Croatian Academy of science and Arts | Bedic Z.,Croatian Academy of science and Arts | Rajic Sikanjic P.,Institute for Anthropological Research | Vodanovic M.,University of Zagreb | Domic Kunic A.,Croatian Academy of science and Arts
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology | Year: 2011

Dento-alveolar pathologies: caries, ante mortem tooth loss, abscesses, calculus, alveolar resorption and tooth wear were analysed in two composite skeletal series from Croatia's eastern Adriatic coast (Dalmatia). The first consists of 103 skeletons from seven Late Antique (3rd-6th century AD) sites, the second of 151 skeletons from three Early Medieval (7th-11th centuries AD) sites. As recent bioarhaeological studies (Šlaus, 2008) showed a significant increase of disease loads and trauma frequencies in Dalmatia during the Early Medieval period, the aim of this study was to investigate whether dental health was equally adversely affected by the Late Antique/Early Medieval transition. The results of our analyses show that the frequencies of carious lesions, ante mortem tooth loss, abscesses and alveolar resorption increased significantly during the Early Medieval period, as did the degree of heavy occlusal wear on posterior teeth. These data suggest a change in alimentary habits, with a significantly higher dependence on carbohydrates and a greater reliance on hard, fibrous foods requiring vigorous mastication in the Early Medieval diet. The combination of higher calculus and lower caries rates in the Late Antique series similarly suggests more protein in the Late Antique diet and is, therefore, also consistent with the hypothesised change in alimentary habits. In general (the two exceptions are male caries and female alveolar resorption frequencies) lesion frequencies increased uniformly in both sexes suggesting that the deterioration of dental health during the Early Medieval period equally affected males and females. Cumulatively, the collected data suggest that the political, social, economic and religious changes that characterised the Late Antique/Early Medieval transition in Dalmatia resulted in a clear discontinuity, not only from the cultural, but also from the biological point of view with an evident deterioration of oral health during the Early Medieval period. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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