Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Ethnic Studies

First Committee Member

Bernardo Arriaza

Number of Pages



A macroscopic analysis of 604 skeletal remains was undertaken at the Museo Arqueologico de San Miguel de Azapa (MASMA) in order to ascertain the rates of porotic hyperostosis in the prehistoric populations of northern Chile. Porotic hyperostosis has been recognized as being a useful indicator of nutritional stress, in particular, iron-deficiency anemia. In the Americas, this pathology has primarily been associated with maize-dependency and pathogen load. Contrary to expectations, results reveal that pre-agricultural populations have 93% of porotic hyperostosis while the agricultural populations show a rate of 66%. This data does not support the maize-dependency model. It is suggested, instead, that the pathology could be the result of levels of parasites within the societies.


Analysis; Chile; Diachronic; Hyperostosis; Northern; Populations; Porotic; Prehistoric

Controlled Subject

Physical anthropology; Pathology; Archaeology

File Format


File Size

3635.2 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


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