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Ref ID: 25254
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Powell, Mary Lucas
Title: In the Best of Health? Disease and Trauma Among the Mississippian Elite
Date: 1992
Source: Lords of the Southeast: Social Inequality and the Native Elites of Southeastern North America
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Abstract: Comparisons of skeletal data on diet, disease, and trauma in elite and non-elite population samples from Mississippian sites throughout the Southeast have yielded a variety of patterns, some contradictory and some paralleling expectations based upon ethnohistoric accounts of elite sumptuary behaviors. Although trace element analyses of human bone from Alabama and Tennessee sites suggest that elites ate relatively more meat than their presumed social inferiors, non-elite health does not seem particularly compromised. The high prevalence of trauma in elite males at Chucalissa may reflect the role of warfare in male status advancement. The lords of the Southeast and their families may have been in effect ‘overnourished’ relative to everyone else, but probably not to the extent of historically documented African and Polynesian chiefly lineages whose literally weighty embodiment of superior social status impressed visiting travellers and ethnographers alike.
Identifier: 0-913167-48-7
Date Created: 7/16/2019
Editors: Barker, Alex W.
Pauketat, Timothy R.
Number: 3
Page Start: 81
Page End: 98
Series Editor: Fitzhugh, William W.
Series Title: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association