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Ref ID: 30145
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Dlamini, N.
Morris, A. G.
Title: An investigation of the frequency of squatting facets in later stone age foragers from South Africa
Date: 2005
Source: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Abstract: Distinctive morphological changes attributed to a habitual squatting posture were observed on the distal femur, distal tibia and on the talar neck of Later Stone Age (LSA) foragers. The frequency of squatting in LSA foragers (n¼56) was determined by the presence of anatomical features of joint hyperflexion. Three South African comparative skeletal groups from different time periods were also analysed: skeletal remains of early farming populations (n¼17), 18th century ‘Free Blacks’ and/or slaves from Cobern Street, Cape Town (n¼21), and a modern cadaver sample (n¼29). The results show that 28 out of 56 LSA foragers (50%) were habitual squatters
13 out of 17 farmers (76.5%) and one of 21 individuals from the Cobern Street collection (4.8%) demonstrated squatting facets. No anatomical squatters were found in the modern cadaver sample. There was no significant sex difference between squatters and non-squatters. Hence at least half of the LSA foragers and farmers were habitual squatters, according to the signs of joint hyperflexion. Squatting is a comfortable position for those used to it because the body weight is supported with minimal muscular activity. Two probable reasons are suggested for the difference in postures adopted by the different groups: (1) availability or lack of availability of furniture and (2) cultural and individual differences in resting posture.
Date Created: 1/4/2007
Volume: 15
Number: 5
Page Start: 371
Page End: 376