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  The bioarchaeology of mid-Holocene pastoralist cemeteries west of Lake Turkana, Kenya

Sawchuk, E. A., Pfeiffer, S., Klehm, C. E., Cameron, M. E., Hill, A. C., Janzen, A., et al. (2019). The bioarchaeology of mid-Holocene pastoralist cemeteries west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 11: s12520-019-00914-4, pp. 6221-6241. doi:10.1007/s12520-019-00914-4.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-0A10-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-E1D0-0
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Sawchuk, Elizabeth A.1, Author              
Pfeiffer, Susan, Author
Klehm, Carla E., Author
Cameron, Michelle E., Author
Hill, Austin C., Author
Janzen, Anneke1, Author              
Grillo, Katherine M., Author
Hildebrand, Elisabeth A., Author
Affiliations:
1Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074312              

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Free keywords: Pillar sites . Mortuary archaeology . Turkana Basin . Herding . Stone beads . Food production
 Abstract: Early herders in eastern Africa built elaborate megalithic cemeteries ~5000 BP overlooking what is now Lake Turkana in northwestern Kenya. At least six `pillar sites' were constructed during a time of rapid change: cattle, sheep, and goats were introduced to the basin as the lake was shrinking at the end of the African Humid Period. Cultural changes at this time include new lithic and ceramic technologies and the earliest monumentality in eastern Africa. Isolated human remains previously excavated from pillar sites east of Lake Turkana seemed to indicate that pillar site platforms were ossuaries for secondary burials. Recent bioarchaeological excavations at four pillar sites west of the lake have now yielded ≥49 individuals, most from primary and some from secondary interments, challenging earlier interpretations. Here we describe the mortuary cavities, and burial contexts, and included items such as adornments from Lothagam North, Lothagam West, Manemanya, and Kalokol pillar sites. In doing so, we reassess previous hypotheses regarding pillar site construction, use, and inter-site variability. We also present the first osteological analyses of skeletons buried at these sites. Although the human remains are fragmentary, they are nevertheless informative about the sex, age, and body size of the deceased and give evidence for health and disease processes. Periosteal moulds of long bone midshafts (n=34 elements) suggest patterns of terrestrial mobility. Pillar site deposits provide important new insights into early herder lifeways in eastern Africa and the impact of the transition to pastoralism on past human populations.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2019-11-012019-11
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: 21
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Introduction

Background

Methods

Results
- Mortuary sequence
-- Lothagam North
-- Other pillar sites
- Cultural materials from the burials
-- Lothagam North
-- Other sites
- The human remains
- Indicators of health
- Biomechanical indicators of mobility

Discussion
- Mortuary patterns at the pillar sites
- Intra-site variability: personal adornment
- Skeletal indicators for health, disease, and activity

Conclusions
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s12520-019-00914-4
Other: shh2451
 Degree: -

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Title: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
  Other : Archaeol Anthropol Sci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Berlin [u.a.] : Springer
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 11 Sequence Number: s12520-019-00914-4 Start / End Page: 6221 - 6241 Identifier: ISSN: 1866-9557
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1866-9557