Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology



First Committee Member

Debra L. Martin, Chair

Second Committee Member

Jennifer Thompson

Third Committee Member

Allan Simmons

Graduate Faculty Representative

John Curry

Number of Pages



Tell Abraq is a Bronze Age archaeological site located in the modern day United Arab Emirates and was occupied from the 3rd millennium BC to the 1st century AD. The coastal location provided access to both marine and agricultural resources as well as trade routes and foreign exchange. The tomb at the site was in use for 200 years (2200-2000 BC) and housed the commingled remains of a minimum of 286 adults. These individuals lived hard lives, dependent on good health to maintain a life-line of sustenance for themselves and each other. A number of individuals with severe expressions of pathological cases, however, indicate they were in need of support from others during their times of illness or injury. These pathologies include osteoarthritis with eburnation, stress fracture, healed mal-union fracture, spondylosis deformans, dislocated knee, and osteomyelitis. Using clinical literature, each case is interpreted based on current medical notions of disability and pain. Limited mobility and diminished capacity to provide for oneself lend to a biocultural analysis in which compassion is displayed through extended care and support to ailing and injured people. This research brings focus to an area of study that has received little attention, attempts to highlight individuals in a commingled context, and suggests ways of integrating bioarchaeology in a community.


Bioarchaeology; Bronze Age; Care; Compassion; Excavations (Archaeology); Medical archaeology; Paleopathology; Prehistoric peoples; United Arab Emirates – Tell Abraq (Extinct city); Tombs


Biological and Physical Anthropology | Disorders of Environmental Origin | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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