Early Life Conditions and Physiological Stressfollowing the Transition to Farming inCentral/Southeast Europe: Skeletal GrowthImpairment and 6000 Years of GradualRecovery
Alinson A. Macintosh et al.
PLOS one, 2016
Results documentsignificantly reduced mean stature, body mass, and crural index in Neolithic agriculturalistsrelative both to Late Mesolithic hunter-gatherer-fishers and to later farming populations.This indication of relative growth impairment in the Neolithic, particularly among women, issupported by existing evidence of high developmental stress, intensive physical activity,and variable access to animal protein in these early agricultural populations. Among subse-quent agriculturalists, temporal increases in mean stature, body mass, and crural indexwere more pronounced among Central European women, driving declines in the magnitudeof sexual dimorphism through time. Overall, results suggest that the transition to agriculturein Central/Southeast Europe was challenging for early farming populations, but was fol-lowed by gradual amelioration across thousands of years, particularly among Central Euro-pean women. This sex difference may be indicative, in part, of greater temporal variation inthe social status afforded to young girls, in their access to resources during growth, and/orin their health status than was experienced by men.
Transition to agriculture in central europe: Body size and Body shape amongst the First Farmers
Janusz Piontek, Vàclav Vancata
Interdisciplinaria archeologica, 2012
Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: Evidence from the bioarchaeological record
Amanda Mummert et al.
Economics & human biology, 2011
[…]empirical studies of societies shifting subsistence from foraging to primary food production have found evidence for deteriorating health from an increase in infectious and dental disease and a rise in nutritional deficiencies. In Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (Cohen and Armelagos, 1984), this trend towards declining health was observed for 19 of 21 societies undergoing the agricultural transformation. The counterintuitive increase in nutritional diseases resulted from seasonal hunger, reliance on single crops deficient in essential nutrients, crop blights, social inequalities, and trade.