A bioarchaeological study of trauma at Late Iron Age to Protohistoric Non Ban Jak, Northeast Thailand

Pedersen, Lucille T., Domett, Kate M., Chang, Nigel J., Halcrow, Siân E., Buckley, Hallie R., Higham, Charles F.W., O'Reilly, Dougald J.W., and Shewan, Louise (2019) A bioarchaeological study of trauma at Late Iron Age to Protohistoric Non Ban Jak, Northeast Thailand. Asian Perspectives, 58 (2). pp. 220-249.

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Abstract

The Late Iron Age to early historic period site of Non Ban Jak (ca. fourth to eighth centuries a.d.), in the Upper Mun River Valley, northeast Thailand, provides one of the largest and best preserved skeletal samples from an important period of change in social and technological complexity in prehistoric Southeast Asia. This study assessed the patterning of individual-level trauma prevalence and long bone fracture rates in this community to determine the level of risk of injury and the possible relationship with cultural change. One quarter (25.5%) of adults experienced antemortem or perimortem trauma. This level of trauma is high when compared to other Iron Age sites in the Southeast Asian region. Injury patterning suggests the majority of antemortem trauma is the result of accidental injury through occupational hazards and lifestyle activities. However, cranial injuries such as a depressed fracture, facial fractures, and perimortem sharp force trauma, as well as a possible parry injury and multiple trauma observed in some individuals, are indicative that at least a portion of the population had been engaged in interpersonal violence. This study emphasizes local variation. Non Ban Jak is one of only a few excavated sites that contributes to an understanding of the transition from the late Iron Age to the early protohistoric period in Thailand as well as the wider region in Southeast Asia.

Item ID: 60636
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1535-8283
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Copyright Information: © 2019 by the University of Hawai‘i Press.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), University of Otago (UO), Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ)
Projects and Grants: ARC DP110101997, UO Research Grant (2015), RSNZ Marsden Fund UOO1508/2016–2019
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 22:46
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160102 Biological (Physical) Anthropology @ 40%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 60%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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