Content uploaded by Luana Batista Goulart
All content in this area was uploaded by Luana Batista Goulart on Sep 12, 2017
Content may be subject to copyright.
INTRAPOPULATION GROWTH VARIATION ANALYSIS USING FEMUR LENGTH:
THE CASE OF MARTIGUES PLAGUE VICTIMS (SOUTH OF FRANCE –1720-1721)
Luana Batista-Goulart1, Stéfan Tzortzis2, Isabelle Séguy3 and Gérald Quatrehomme4
1Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France
2 UMR 72 68 ADES AMU, CNRS, EFS, France
3Institut National d’Études Démographiques (INED), F -75020 Paris; Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, CEPAM, France
4Univ ersité Côt e d’Azur, Insti tut Universitaire d’Anthropologie médico -légale, Faculté de Médecine; CEPAM, France
•Individual’s living conditions influence his/her stature by 20% (Koepke, 2016).
•Bioarchaeological context: stature analysis has been used to evaluate past populations’ living conditions.
(1) evaluate whether all groups, divided according to age, gender and location at the archaeological site, were equally affected by these famines;
(2) investigate how differently men and women suffered from them;
(3) link age classes with starvation episodes in that region.
•In this work we analyse the skeletons of 95 adults:
ovictims of the Great Plague of Marseilles (1720-1722);
oexhumed from mass graves located at the city of Martigues (Provence - France) (Tzortzis, 2009);
osuffered several starvation episodes before the epidemic (Séguy, 2017).
Koepke, N. 2016. The Biological Standard of Living on Europe from the Late Iron Age to the Little Ice Age. In The Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology, eds. John Komlos and Inas R. Kelly. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Séguy I. 2017. De Charybde en Sylla : les Provençaux à l’épreuve des calamités (fin XVIIe-début XVIIIe siècle). In : Gil Bellis, Elisabeth Brown, Philippe Cordazzo, Virginie De Luca et Alain Parant (eds), Les populations vulnérables (actes
du colloque de la CUDEP, Conférence universitaire de démographie et d’étude des populations, Aix-en-Provence, 28-31 mai 2013), CUDEP. 530-546
Tzortzis S., Signoli M. 2009. Les tranchées des Capucins de Ferrières (Martigues, Bouches-du-Rhône, France). Un charnier de l’épidémie de peste de 1720-1722 en Provence. C. R. Palevol, 8 (2009), 749-760.
Wood, J. et al.1992. The Osteological Paradox. Current Anthropology 33(4): 343–70.
(1) Variables: sex, inhumation place and femur length (FAMD)
No pattern of stature variation linked to the inhumation place was
(2) Variables: sex, age class and femur length (FAMD)
•Significant difference between the mean of groups 1 and 3 (Student’s t-
oGroup 1: women (almost only) from age classes young-mature,
mature and mature-old.
oGroup 3: women from age classes young and old.
•Variation in women stature: the youngest and the oldest are taller than
•Variation of mean among male groups (2 and 4) is not statistically
•Considering both genders, the average statures of different age groups
do not differ in a statistically significant manner (ANOVA test ).
Victims of 1720-22 plague were born between 1702 and 1625 (90% between
1702 and 1655)
1695 –1702 –born period of individuals classed as “young”;
1684 –1710 –several episodes of starvation;
Uterine life and development period during the penury;
1625 –1655 –born period of individuals classed as “old”;
Both classified in the groups with higher statures (3 and 4).
Results of the FAMD considering sex, age class and femur length.
Gender inequality hypothesis: women’s stature correlated with age, while
male’s stature are homogeneous.
•Our analysis suggests that women were the most affected by changes
in life conditions.
“Osteological paradox”(Wood, 1992):
•The youngest and the oldest were the most vulnerable during the
•Younger: growing and development period;
•Older: vulnerable because of advanced age.
•Event though, they had higher stature than the other age group and
survived the famines.
•We hypothesize that:
•they survived because they had better life conditions than
•differential life conditions made them taller than the other
•Femur length analysis
We directly examine femur length, instead of predicted statures, to
avoid modelling errors.
•Factorial Analysis of Mixed Data (FAMD)
Variables: sex, age class, inhumation place and femur length.
•Investigation of historical sources.
•Examine the occurrence of physiological stress markers in the bones
and teeth and also the variation in dental microwear to verify the
consistency of these results.
•Comparison with other populations from the same region and/or
1620 1640 1660 1680 1700 1720
Femur length and famines
Femur length - female Femur length - male Famines
Archaeological site Capucins de Ferrières Source: Google Maps