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Samantha Purchase's summer research activities in Irkutsk, Russia

November 13, 2013

Samantha Purchase, BHAP Masters student at University of Saskatchewan, has written a short report on her summer 2013 research activities in Irkutsk, Russia. Thanks, Sam!

This summer I spent two month (July-September) in Irkutsk gathering data for my research into the relationship between non-specific infection and physiological stress in middle-Holocene Cis-Baikal. I analyzed all the skeletons from Shamanka II and Ust'-Ida I, and a sub-sample from Lokomotive. With the aid of an endoscope I was able to analyze the middle ears and sinuses of all applicable skulls, while radiographs of all applicable mastoids allowed for an analysis of mastoiditis frequencies.

A preliminary analysis of my data reveals trends consistent with previous research: pre-hiatus hunter-gatherers show more evidence of infection than do those from the post-hiatus cultures. In addition, all three cemeteries show a lot of evidence of both otitis media and mastoiditis. I am now entering the analysis phase of my research and look forward to reporting my results.

 

 

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