The 85th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2016)


Session 53. Early-life stress in the past: bioarchaeological approaches to the evolution, ecology, and cultural contingencies of human life history. Invited Podium Symposium. Chair: Daniel H. Temple

April 16, 2016 , Imperial Ballroom A Add to calendar

The human dentition and skeleton are two of the most data-rich sources for evaluating individual life histories. Specifically, mineralized hard tissues detail evidence of stressors experienced early in the life course and the consequences of these experiences on future developmental pathways. The goal of this symposium is to unlock the potential of the human skeleton and dentition to elucidate early-life stress events and to evaluate how these experiences place physiological constraints on energetic investments in future growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Here, plasticity is found in the human capacity to survive stressful events early in life, and these events are recorded on bones and teeth. Skeletal and dental evidence for physiological constraints are also possible to observe, particularly disease, growth faltering, and mortality. Together, these represent a broader series of trade-offs where the human body may survive early-life stress events, but reduces energetic investments into future physiological functions. Because bioarchaeological research examines the human skeleton within the broader context of culture, many of these presentations will also provide evidence for the cultural and environmental contingencies acting to ameliorate or exacerbate the impact of early-life stress on individual life histories. 

2:00 Add to calendar Bioarchaeological approaches to the study of early-life stress: the potential of human skeletal and dental remains to studies of life history theory. Daniel H. Temple.
2:15 Add to calendar The effect of multiple stress events on risk of mortality during the medieval Black Death. Sharon N. DeWitte.
2:30 Add to calendar A stressful legacy: Childhood stress and longevity. Gina McFarlane, Judith H. Littleton.
2:45 Add to calendar Developmental variation in perikymata expression in co-interred child foragers. Lesley Harrington, Susan Pfeiffer.
3:00 Add to calendar Short bones, short life: Subadult selective mortality in Tirup Cemetery. Bethany M. Usher.
3:15 Add to calendar Stressful childhoods, (un)healed lesions, and lifelong impacts: A view of life history and frailty in West-Central Illinois. Jeremy J. Wilson, Jennifer M. Bauder.
3:30 Add to calendar Growth disruption and adult mortality: the deferred consequences of early-life stress in industrializing London. Gail M. Hughes-Morey.
3:45 Add to calendar Ill-health or the burial environment: differentiating developmental defects from postmortem stained enamel in deciduous dentition, prehistoric Tonga, Polynesia. Siân E. Halcrow, Rami A. Farah, Lucia Painuthara, Jonathan M. Broadbent, Hallie R. Buckley, Anna-Claire Barker.
4:00 Add to calendar Famine, feast, and frailty: early-life histories from dentine. Julia Beaumont, Janet Montgomery.
4:15 Add to calendar Exploring stress thresholds through dental enamel defects and skeletal evidence for life history trade-offs in adults. Julia A. Gamble.
4:30 Add to calendar An examination of early stress, longevity, growth and childhood socioeconomic circumstances in a modern juvenile skeletal sample from Portugal. Hugo Cardoso.
4:45 Discussion: Sabrina Agarwal
5:00 Break