The Caribou Eskimo: General and specific disease

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39 Scopus citations


Reported here are two forms of skeletal pathology identified in an inclusive sample of Caribou Eskimo skeletons. Harris Lines, nonspecific indicators of stress, show marked periodicity in approximately one‐half of the observable adults. This pattern is interpreted as the result of a recurrent, annual stress cycle, perhaps attributable to late winter famine. A second form of pathological change comprises resorptive lesions primarily localized in the spinal column and infrequently found on articular surfaces of the appendicular skeleton. Differential diagnosis is developed utilizing attributes of lesion form, lesion distribution, and epidemiology. Emphasis is placed upon deriving objective models which reflect disease in the absence of modern medical intervention. Major forms of pathology known to produce vertebral lesions are included. The model which best fits the Caribou Eskimo data is that of tuberculosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-367
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1976
Externally publishedYes


  • Caribou Eskimo
  • Disease
  • Harris line
  • Paleopathology
  • Skeletal pathology
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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