Lower-limb biomechanics and behavior in a middle Mississippian skeletal sample from west-central Illinois
The purpose of this study is to assess long bone biomechanics to determine the level and type of activity present in a skeletal sample from Orendorf, a Middle Mississippian population (∼ A.D. 1150) from west-central Illinois. Cross-sectional properties of the femoral midshaft are analyzed for 17 individuals (6 males, 11 females). Comparisons are made both within the sample as well as with other samples from west-central Illinois and other regions, including the Southwest, the Georgia coast, the Northern and Southern Plains, and the Great Basin.
Results suggest that the Orendorf sample has a high degree of sexual dimorphism, in particular, males tend to have more anteroposteriorly oriented cross-sections suggesting that males performed more activities associated with mobility such as long-distance walking, running or climbing than did the females. Some possible explanations for these patterns include regional differences in environment, terrain, subsistence practices, or the extent to which populations were involved in warfare or trade with other groups.