Robert P. Mensforth's research while affiliated with Cleveland State University and other places

Publications (22)

Article
Full-text available
The demographic reconstruction of extinct societies from archaeological sites is a complex problem. A variety of variables affect the adequacy of the cemetery census, especially aboriginal burial practices, post-mortem preservation, excavation techniques, and estimation of demographic variables by investigators. Most important of all is the need to...
Chapter
IntroductionThe Libben Site, Ottawa County, OhioThe Osteology of AgingTotal Fertility and Intrinsic GrowthThe Human Species in Demographic ContextAcknowledgmentsReferences
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Trophy taking emerged as a dominantly male activity associated with hunting behavior in both band and tribal-level societies. In many of these societies, the planned acquisition, selective retention, and curation of animal body parts played an important role both in rights of passage to adulthood and in quests for personal esteem and prestige. As s...
Article
Contiguous high resolution computed tomography images were obtained at a 1.5 mm slice thickness perpendicular to the neck axis from the base of the femoral head to the trochanteric line in a sample of 10 specimens each of Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, and Gorilla gorilla, plus five specimens of Pan paniscus. Superior, inferior, anterior, and poste...
Article
The study presents a demographic assessment of the Carlston Annis (Bt-5) Late Archaic hunting and gathering population recovered from the banks of the Green River in west-central Kentucky. The shell midden habitation and cemetery site originally yielded the remains of 390 individuals. Radiocarbon dates place site occupation between 3,000 and 4,500...
Article
The study presents a retrospective analysis of distal radius, proximal femur, vertebral, and sacral fractures that occurred in 938 Hamann-Todd Collection skeletons. Individuals included in the investigation were retrieved from dissecting room cadavers in Cleveland, Ohio, between the years 1910 and 1940. Demographic analysis showed that the mean age...
Article
Patterns of tibia long bone growth were examined for the Libben Late Woodland and Bt-5 Late Archaic hunter-gatherer skeletal groups. Subadults included in the analyses ranged in age from birth to 10 years. The primary goals were to (1) identify potential differences in relative tibia growth and (2) evaluate the extent to which such differences were...
Article
Determinations of sex by subjective assessment of the skulls from a skeletal series of known sex were compared to fully independent assessments based on pelves of the same specimens. Within-sex correlations of cranial and pelvic morphologies measured on an android-gynecoid scale were smaller than expected. Subjective assessment by means of the skul...
Article
All current standardized methods of age determination using the os pubis were tested by blind assessment of a skeletal sample with documented ages (from the Todd collection; N = 96). No demographic data (sex, age, race, age composition) were known to the assessors prior to completion of the test. Results showed the Todd method to be more reliable t...
Article
Paleodemographic analyses based on estimates of skeletal age at death consistently report high levels of young adult mortality with few individuals living in excess of 50 years. Critics assert these data indicate systematic underaging of adults and justifiably remark that criteria for estimating skeletal age at death may be unreliable, age determin...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional methods of estimating skeletal age at death have relied solely on the pubic symphyseal face or on this indicator combined with others in nonsystematic ways. A multifactorial method is presented that uses a principal components weighting of five indicators (public symphyseal face, auricular surface, radiographs of proximal femur, dental...
Article
Full-text available
A new method for the determination of adult skeletal age at death based upon chronological changes in the auricular surface of the ilium is presented. Formal stages have been constructed following extensive tests and refinements in observations made of such changes. Two completely "blind" tests were conducted to assess the accuracy and bias of the...
Article
Full-text available
A method of estimating adult age at death in the skeleton using seriation and multifactorial age determination was tested using subsamples of the Hamann-Todd Collection. Over 3000 cadaver records were surveyed from which over 250 were chosen to construct two distinct populations of specified survivorship. Each of the two samples was then aged and s...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract A model of analysis incorporating methodological improvements and epidemiological refinements has been employed to investigate the etiology of porotic hyperostosis and periosteal reactions in infants and children from the Libben Site, a Late Woodland ossuary and occupation site from Ottawa County, Ohio. Results of the age-specific intrapop...
Article
Subadult crania from 4 skeletal populations were examined for the presence of porotic hyperostotic lesions such as cribra orbitalia, osteoporotic pitting, and spongy hyperostosis. The sample of 269 specimens included hunting and gathering (Late Woodland, A.D. 900-1050), transitional (Mississippian Acculturated Late Woodland, A.D. 1050-1150), and ag...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMEN A lo largo del Río Green en Kentucky se localizan cementerios prehistóricos muy antiguos que están asociados con sitios habitados. La arquelogía del Arcaico tardío, biología esquelética y paleodemografía han sido descritas para el Indian Knoll (15Oh2) y Carlston-Annis (15Bt5), las cualas revelan distribuciones de edad jóvenes, altas tasas d...

Citations

... At times the stories of limbs, teeth, morphologies, and genomes extend to isotopes, diets, and demography which might be applied to telling our social histories. Usually, however, these sit not far from the descriptive data Lovejoy et al. (1982) (also see Armelagos & van Gerven, 2003) saw in the Journal. We have, perhaps, not "moved on" so far from Hrdlicka's data accumulation in "preparation" for eventual evolutionary analysis. ...
... Model life tables are potentially useful when demographic data from an extant anthropological population or skeletal sample are incomplete or defective, as they provide a basis for estimating mortality indirectly, smooth incomplete data, and allow for estimation of fertility from age distributions (Ewbank et al., 1983;Howell, 1986). Model life tables can also be used as the basis of comparison for untransformed skeletal or anthropological data, for example to determine if a skeletal sample reasonably represents the mortality experience of the associated population (e.g., see Margerison & Kn€ usel, 2002;Milner, Humpf, & Harpending, 1989;Tayles, 1996 (Gage & Dyke, 1986;Johansson & Horowitz, 1986;Meindl, Mensforth, & Lovejoy, 2008). The use of these model life tables thus risks imposing potentially incorrect demographic patterns on the population of interest (Gage, 1988;Pennington, 1996). ...
... 288-1-l overlaps with many non-suspensory forms, including Alouatta, was suggested to be evidence for ape-like suspensory behavior (Green & Alemseged, 2012), but this again overlaps with many ABQs. The overlapping values of taxa with differing locomotor behaviors suggests that the bar-glenoid angle is not a reliable indicator for determining locomotor behavior, as has been argued previously (Inouye & Shea, 1997;Mensforth et al., 1990). ...
... 11 En cuanto al factor asociado al crecimiento de la población, se considera que el trabajo paleodemográfico no se puede realizar bajo el supuesto de poblaciones con crecimiento cero, pues el comportamiento demográfico de las sociedades a través del tiempo ha demostrado que hay fluctuaciones. Los grupos algunas veces decaen; otras, crecen, de ahí que nos basamos en la información arqueológica para calcular la tasa de crecimiento para cada serie de acuerdo con sus circunstancias históricas específicas (Meindl, 2003; Meindl et al., 2008)Benavides, 2007) y de Copán (Webster et al., 2000) sugiere una población con crecimiento demográfico, tanto social como natural; una tasa de crecimiento menor no podría explicar el número de individuos infantiles representados en ambas series, lo que, según Konigsberg y Frakenberg (2002), es un indicador de alta fecundidad y, por lo que, de 0.005, ya que esta población estaba en descenso en el periodo analizado (Liendo Stuardo, 2004). La metodología estadística utilizada para la obtención de tasas e índices paleodemográficos fue propuesta por Kenneth W. Weiss (1973), y está basada en la distribución por edades a la muerte de los individuos conforme a los esqueletos recuperados de un cementerio o de las excavaciones arqueológicas. ...
... Gorillas (mountain gorillas) use their pollex for power grips in adducted or opposing ways during climbing (Neufuss et al., 2017). The gorillas' pollical metacarpal head is significantly wider than that of chimpanzees and bonobos, partially overlapping with that of humans when standardized by pollical metacarpal length (Hamrick and Inouye, 1995), which may be related to this active involvement of the pollex in locomotor behavior. What, then, made it advantageous for gorillas to lose (or reduce) the commitment of a powerful extrinsic muscle to pollical flexion? ...
... The Canadian age estimates were based on the same pelvic scoring systems used in the Figure 2 estimates. If conventional methods produce consistently erroneous results-that is our position, although others do not agree (Meindl et al., 2001(Meindl et al., , 2008Meindl & Russell, 1998)-then the resulting age-at-death distributions, and inferences based on them, are flawed. As discussed below, however, there is reason for optimism based on a more diverse suite of skeletal characteristics and innovative analytical methods. ...
... This examination may illuminate long bone size differences or consistencies within the population that may be masked by those who survive and grow normally to adulthood. When compared to other groups, the examination of subadults can indicate changes in growth velocity or health status (Lovejoy et al. 1990;Mensforth 1985). It should be noted that subadult skeletal samples refl ect non-survivors, which may bias analyses; however, the effects of this bias are thought to be negligiable (Saunders and Hoppa 1993). ...
... The essential veracity of early adult mortality has been explicitly supported by a few researchers who recognize that paleodemographic findings typically do not conform to expectations from recent, including historical, population data and model estimates (Baitzel & Goldstein, 2016;Brewis et al., 1990;Lovejoy et al., 1977;Meindl et al., 2001;Meindl & Russell, 1998;Mensforth, 1990;Palkovich, 1980). The use of multiple skeletal age-estimation methods is said to minimize the likelihood of directional error, in this instance the underestimation of the ages of old people (Kennedy, 2002). ...
... Indeed, although the link between the endostructural architecture of the proximal femur and the load transfer and dissipation is more complex than assumed by the first mechanical models (e.g., Fajardo et al., 2007;Ryan and Walker, 2010;Shaw and Ryan, 2012), trabecular bone variation in the primate femoral head has provided evidence for structural differences across locomotor groups and has identified unique features in humans related to habitual bipedalism (Fajardo and Müller, 2001;MacLatchy and Müller, 2002;Ketcham, 2002a, b, 2005;Ryan and Krovitz, 2006;Saparin et al., 2011;Shaw, 2012, 2015;Raichlen et al., 2015;Ryan et al., 2018;Tsegai et al., 2018a;Georgiou et al., 2019). Similarly, the asymmetrical distribution of cortical bone thickness within the femoral neck compartment, resulting from an absolutely thinner superior cortex and a thicker inferior cortex, has been shown to similarly characterize bipedal humans and quadrupedal primates, reflecting their stereotypical loadings at the hip joint (Lovejoy, 1988(Lovejoy, , 2005Ohman, 1993;Ohman et al., 1997;Rafferty, 1998;Lovejoy et al., 2002;Ruff and Higgins, 2013;Ruff et al., 2016;Cazenave et al., 2019;Pina et al., 2019). However, compared to the femoral head and neck, other anatomical regions of the proximal femur have received far less attention in extant humans and other primates (Miller et al., 2002;Cazenave et al., 2021). ...
... The pelvic girdle is the most sexually dimorphic feature of the human skeleton; female bodies having adapted to the needs of childbearing (Bruzek and Murail 2006;Meindl et al. 1985). ...