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Revista argentina de antropología biológica

versión On-line ISSN 1514-7991


FLENSBORG, Gustavo; ZUNIGA THAYER, Rodrigo  y  SUBY, Jorge A.. Bipartite paella and vastus notch: evidence and possible causes in hunter-gatherers from southers Patagonia. Rev Arg Antrop Biol [online]. 2022, vol.24, n.2, e051.  Epub 01-Jul-2022. ISSN 1514-7991.

This work aims to study the prevalence and possible causes of bipartite patella (BP) and vastus notch (VN) in Late Holocene (ca. 3500-200 years BP) human skeletons of terrestrial-mixed and maritime hunter-gatherers from Southern Patagonia (Argentina). The studied sample included 36 patellae of 22 individuals (15 males and 7 females; 13 young adults and 9 middle adults). All patellae were macroscopically inspected. The morphology, location and roughness of their concavities were registered, as well as the presence of bone fragments. BP was classified according to the location of the fragments (Type I, II or III). The results were evaluated by age, sex, and subregion. Only BP Type III was recorded, affecting 13,6 % of the skeletons, all of them males from Tierra del Fuego. In contrast, VN was recorded in 22,7 % of the individuals, mainly females, and it was distributed equally in the skeletons from all the analyzed subregions. The type of BP found seems to be caused by developmental defects, although trauma and mechanical loading cannot be completely ruled out. In contrast, VN could be related to biomechanical overloading and postural demands. The geographical provenance of the individuals, and the economic strategies consequently adopted, seems to be unrelated to these two bone traits. Thus, terrestrial-mixed and maritime hunter-gatherers from Southern Patagonia were similarly affected by both BP and VN.

Palabras clave : patella; developmental defect; mechanical loading; trauma; late Holocene.

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