Domestication and large animal interactions: skeletal trauma in northern Vietnam during the hunter-gatherer Da But period

Scott, Rachel M., Buckley, Hallie R., Domett, Kate, Tromp, Monica, Hoang Trinh, Hiep, Willis, Anna, Matsumura, Hirofumi, and Oxenham, Marc F. (2019) Domestication and large animal interactions: skeletal trauma in northern Vietnam during the hunter-gatherer Da But period. PLoS ONE, 14 (9). e0218777.

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The aim of this paper is to test the hypothesis that healed traumatic injuries in the pre-Neolithic assemblage of Con Co Ngua, northern Vietnam (c. 6800–6200 cal BP) are consistent with large wild animal interactions prior to their domestication. The core sample included 110 adult (aged ≥ 18 years) individuals, while comparisons are made with an additional six skeletal series from Neolithic through to Iron Age Vietnam, Thailand, and Mongolia. All post cranial skeletal elements were assessed for signs of healed trauma and identified cases were further x-rayed. Crude trauma prevalence (14/110, 12.7%) was not significantly different between males (8/52) and females (5/37) (χ2 = 0.061, p = 0.805). Nor were there significant differences in the prevalence of fractured limbs, although males displayed greater rates of lower limb bone trauma than females. Further, distinct from females, half the injured males suffered vertebral fractures, consistent with high-energy trauma. The first hypothesis is supported, while some support for the sexual divisions of labour was found. The prevalence and pattern of fractured limbs at CCN when compared with other Southeast and East Asian sites is most similar to the agropastoral site of Lamadong, China. The potential for skeletal trauma to assess animal trapping and herding practices prior to domestication in the past is discussed.

Item ID: 60310
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: trauma, Vietnam, Hunter-gatherer
Copyright Information: © 2019 Scott et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Durham University, Institute of Advanced Study (IAS)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP110101097, ARC FT 120100299, The COFUND ‘Durham International Fellowships for Research and Enterprise’ scheme
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 22:11
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440103 Biological (physical) anthropology @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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