Because of their role in weight bearing, the bones normally used to infer mobility patterns in past populations are the femur and the tibia. Nevertheless, studies of living hominoids and modern human athletes have demonstrated that the structural properties of the fibula are significantly correlated with mobility patterns. This study assess variation in fibular cross-sectional properties (CA, Imax, Imin, and J) within a sample of 155 individuals from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP), Neolithic and Iron Age of Italy, Medieval Germany, and contemporary athletes (long distance runners, field hockey players) and controls. The aim of this research is to investigate the correspondence between fibular diaphyseal properties and inferred mobility patterns in past populations. Cross-sectional measurements were taken at the midshaft, and both fibular rigidity and the ratio of tibial to fibular rigidity were analyzed (see Marchi, 2007). LUP, Neolithic and Iron Age samples display the highest relative fibular rigidity, comparable to that of modern hockey players. The pronounced fibular rigidity associated with hockey players is explained as the skeletal adaptation to habitual multi-directional lower limb loading associated with their sport. The LUP, Neolithic and Iron Age individuals are thought to have been very active and resided in a region of uneven terrain; therefore the requirement for repetitive directional changes throughout the gait cycle where likely frequent. It is suggested that the inclusion of the fibula in analyses of skeletal and fossil remains will allow for a more nuanced appreciation of the influence of mobility patterns on bioarchaeological populations.

Can fibular robusticity be used to infer mobility patterns in past populations?

MARCHI, DAMIANO;
2011

Abstract

Because of their role in weight bearing, the bones normally used to infer mobility patterns in past populations are the femur and the tibia. Nevertheless, studies of living hominoids and modern human athletes have demonstrated that the structural properties of the fibula are significantly correlated with mobility patterns. This study assess variation in fibular cross-sectional properties (CA, Imax, Imin, and J) within a sample of 155 individuals from the Late Upper Paleolithic (LUP), Neolithic and Iron Age of Italy, Medieval Germany, and contemporary athletes (long distance runners, field hockey players) and controls. The aim of this research is to investigate the correspondence between fibular diaphyseal properties and inferred mobility patterns in past populations. Cross-sectional measurements were taken at the midshaft, and both fibular rigidity and the ratio of tibial to fibular rigidity were analyzed (see Marchi, 2007). LUP, Neolithic and Iron Age samples display the highest relative fibular rigidity, comparable to that of modern hockey players. The pronounced fibular rigidity associated with hockey players is explained as the skeletal adaptation to habitual multi-directional lower limb loading associated with their sport. The LUP, Neolithic and Iron Age individuals are thought to have been very active and resided in a region of uneven terrain; therefore the requirement for repetitive directional changes throughout the gait cycle where likely frequent. It is suggested that the inclusion of the fibula in analyses of skeletal and fossil remains will allow for a more nuanced appreciation of the influence of mobility patterns on bioarchaeological populations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/148932
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