Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Ethnic Studies

First Committee Member

Jennifer L. Thompson

Number of Pages



It is known that activity-related stresses and mechanical loadings affect adult bone morphology. The purpose of this study is to examine how well presumed subsistence-related activities correlate with bone morphology; In addition, this study will investigate the degree to which sex differences can be explained by differences in mechanical loaDing If such differences in expression are apparent between males and females within a population, then it can be speculated that the sexes were participating in different activities---or at least in activities that yielded different mechanical loadings; Although there have been several biomechanical studies that have looked at the relationship between skeletal morphology and physical activities, this study takes a different approach in two ways. First, this study will examine temporal trends in adult lower limb phenotypes that are known to be mechanically sensitive and flexible within populations under different subsistence economies in order to analyze the accuracy to which such phenotypes can reflect presumed activity levels based on known subsistence practices. In short---to examine how well the skeletal data (i.e. morphology indicative of activity) correlates with the archaeological evidence of subsistence practices; Second, the relationship between the expression of lower limb flexible traits and maturation in immature individuals will be analyzed. The purpose of this is to examine how and when such traits are expressed during skeletal maturation, and to determine if the expression of such traits are strictly related to skeletal growth and development, or if they can be explained from a biosocial and/or bioarchaeological perspective. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).


Activities; Biomechanical; Bone; California; Differing; Effects; Inferences; Lifestyles; Limb; Lower; New Mexico; Populations; Shape; Stress; Structure

Controlled Subject

Physical anthropology; Archaeology

File Format


File Size

4096 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit