Redfern, Rebecca Catherine (2006)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis focuses upon the osteological evidence for adult health in Dorset, England during the Iron Age and Romano-British period (N= 270). The study employed a standardised method of recording to collect data from 21 sites, which was analysed at the population level. The data was discussed using a combination of social archaeology and a medical ecology approach, which enabled the evidence for health and well being to be understood in terms of society and environment, and how these changed over time. The approach also permitted comparison to national and European health patterns, and sought to challenge existing interpretations of both periods. Iron Age health reflected the agrarian based economy of that period, in addition to social and environmental buffers and stressors, such as violence and the engendering of children. The Romano-British data demonstrated statistically significantly differences for many aspects of health, such as dental disease. The influence of environmental and sociocultural change was reflected in the life-ways of the region, with a decrease in the evidence for violence, and an increase in tuberculosis. In comparison to national data, the region displayed heterogeneity in many aspects of health through time, particularly the prevalence of trauma, as well as evidence for continuity, particularly for agrarian life-ways. However, overall, the consequences of Roman colonisation could be identified.
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