The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)


A bioarchaeological investigation of an obstetric death in Ancient China: Exploring the death and burial of an adult female with an infant at Huigou site

AI ZHANG1, YAWEI ZHOU1, QIAN WU2, WANFA GU2 and QINGLI WEI2.

1History department, Zhengzhou University, 2Culture relics and archaeology, Zhengzhou institute

April 17, 2020 , Diamond 10 Add to calendar

This article is the first reported case study of an adult female buried with an infant in the Yellow River Basin in Neolithic China. Bone preservation in the tomb is excellent, allowing a detailed evaluation of the remains. The gestational age of the infant is roughly full-term based on the relevant reference. Observations on the adult female's pelvis and comparisons to modern clinical data suggest that restriction in the bony birth canal caused a difficult delivery, leading to the death of mother and infant during or shortly after birth. A hyperplastic lesion on the pubic symphysis may reflect a prior difficult birth that was survived. We think this case enriches the osteological research on female's reproductive health and is of great significance.


Slides/Poster (pdf)