Social status and its relationship to non-specific stress at late Iron Age Non Ban Jak, Northeast Thailand

Ward, Stacey M., Halcrow, Sian E., Buckley, Hallie R., Gray, Andrew R., Higham, Charles F. W., Domett, Kate, O'Reilly, Dougald J. W., and Shewan, Louise G. (2019) Social status and its relationship to non-specific stress at late Iron Age Non Ban Jak, Northeast Thailand. Bioarchaeology International, 3 (4). pp. 283-304.

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The rise of social inequality is a key development in human history and is linked to deteriorating health. These associated health impacts are poorly understood for Iron Age (420 B.C.–A. D. 500) northeast Thailand. To clarify this issue we investigate whether social status differences influence non-specific stress at the site of Non Ban Jak (A.D. 300–800), which comprises two separate burial mounds. These mounds are thought to represent the neighborhoods of two distinct social groups at the site. Quantitative analyses were used to explore differences in grave goods among the adults of Non Ban Jak (N = 47). Long bone lengths, ages at death, and linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) were examined to explore differences in non-specific stress on the basis of age, sex, burial mound, and mortuary phase. Results demonstrated that older adults of both sexes, males of all ages, and west mound individuals received greater grave good quantities and may therefore have been of higher social status. West mound individuals were taller and had a lower prevalence of LEH compared to those from the east mound. Although female LEH prevalence and mortality were reduced relative to males, decreasing stature over time and high neonatal mortality indicated greater female stress. Lower-status individuals may therefore have suffered increased stress relative to those of higher status. Artifactual and epigraphic evidence supports the suggestion of sex-and class-based status differences at Non Ban Jak, legitimized and perpetuated through the adoption of residential burial and new religious ideologies.

Item ID: 63311
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2472-8357
Keywords: grave goods, inequality, health
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2020 University of Florida Press
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Royal Society of New Zealand, University of Otago (UO)
Projects and Grants: Australian Research Council (DP110101997)
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 03:53
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430102 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440103 Biological (physical) anthropology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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