Infant and Child Health and Disease with Agricultural Intensification in Mainland Southeast Asia

Authors

  • Siân E. Halcrow Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Nancy Tayles Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Charlotte L. King Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Thanik Lertcharnrit ภาควิชาโบราณคดี คณะโบราณคดี มหาวิทยาลัยศิลปากร กรุงเทพ

Keywords:

bioarchaeology, infants and child health, Southeast Asia, agricultural intensification

Abstract

This article presents a synthesis of infant and child health and disease from seven different sites in Thailand, c. 2,000 BCE-500 CE, to assess whether there is any evidence for a change in health with agricultural intensification. An analysis of mortality, growth disruption, and dental health suggests overall health did not deteriorate over time. However, bone pathology suggests an increase in infectious disease over time. A combination of broad-spectrum subsistence economies, localised environments and the development of major environmental changes occurring during the end of the prehistoric period in the Iron Age likely underpin the temporal health patterns seen in this region.

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