Year of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Forensic Anthropology Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Noriko Seguchi

Commitee Members

Ashley McKeown, Richard Bridges


DJD, osteophytosis, vertebral degeneration


University of Montana


This research examines the differences in location and severity of osteophytosis (degenerative joint disease) in the vertebral elements of hunter-gatherer populations and agricultural populations in order to determine whether farming or hunting and gathering places greater occupational stress on the vertebral column. It is hypothesized that with the intensification of agriculture the spine came under greater occupational stress and, therefore, osteoarthritis will be more prevalent and more severe in those individuals that participated in an agricultural subsistence. Data concerning degenerative joint disease of the vertebral bodies will be gathered from the Indian Knoll skeletal collection, which is representative of a hunting and gathering population, based on a method that scores severity of the degenerative processes on a scale that can be quantified and then compared across populations. Results of the analysis will be compared with other studies of osteoarthritis and osteophytosis in agriculturalists and other hunter-gatherer populations in order to compare the level of degeneration at Indian Knoll with other groups.

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