Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Debra L. Martin

Second Committee Member

Levent Atici

Third Committee Member

Karen Harry

Fourth Committee Member

John Curry

Number of Pages



This dissertation research study focused on the bioarchaeology of Kaman-Kalehöyük and the goal was to provide baseline data for investigating the effects of social inequalities on rural communities during the Middle Bronze Age (MBA) (ca. 2000-1750 years Before Current Era) in central Anatolia (present-day Turkey). In particular, this project addresses the impact of the political landscape during the MBA on population health at the village site Kaman-Kalehöyük using multiple lines of evidence. This is accomplished through the thorough documentation and analysis of human skeletal remains at Kaman-Kalehöyük. More specifically, all MBA skeletal remains from this site were examined for health indicators of biological stress, activity patterns, and trauma in order to assess whether a biological signature of health is present at this MBA rural community.

The results showed a minimum of 64 individuals and include all age categories and both sexes. Some aspects of the health profile, such as the demographic profile, fertility rates and prevalence of dental caries, are consistent with an agricultural lifestyle. The demographic patterns appear to be relatively normal for an agricultural village and fertility is high, similar to other agricultural communities. Evidence for nutritional quality and general stress potentially indicate that these individuals might be more consistent with the health profile of low socio-economic individuals at the contemporaneous site of Kültepe/Kanesh. In addition to health, skeletal evidence for antemortem (healed) and perimortem (unhealed) trauma was observed. The perimortem trauma includes chop marks made by some sort of weapon on two bones. These marks strongly support the original interpretation by the site director, Dr. Sachihiro Omura, that many individuals found at the site died in an attack on the village. In addition, antemortem trauma found on five individuals appear to be violence related as well. These include two healed facial fractures, two healed skull fractures and one healing stab wound to the chest. These antemortem injuries suggest that interpersonal violence was not limited to the raid on the village as at least five individuals had experienced some sort of interpersonal conflict prior to the attack.


Archaeological Anthropology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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