CONSEQUENCES OF OTTOMAN EXPANSION ON DAILY ACTIVITY IN CROATIA: AN EXAMINATION OF ENTHESEAL REMODELING AND OSTEOARTHRITIS

2019-08-13T15:12:45Z (GMT) by Sarah Caldwell
The purpose of this dissertation research was to use markers of activity change to explore the effects of imperial expansion and sociopolitical upset on a population. This study focused on markers such as entheseal remodeling and the development and progression of osteoarthritis that are commonly used in bioarchaeological literature to assess changes in activity over time. Three populations were used, comprised of seven different sites, which are divided into the Late Medieval (pre-Ottoman), Early Modern (post-Ottoman), and Vlach populations. These sites come from both the Adriatic and continental region of Croatia and are curated at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts – Anthropology Center. The skeleton is highly plastic, which allows it to serve as an archive for the lived experiences of the individual. Because of this plasticity, embodiment theory was employed as a lens through which to examine the changing activity of people under Ottoman rule. Historical narratives paint this time period as being rife with conflict, with a large proportion of the Croatian population being displaced, subsumed by the Ottoman threat, or killed. This is reported to have caused drastic changes in the daily lives of all Croatians across the country as they were forced to adapt to new rulers or leave their homes. This was tested by examining entheseal remodeling and osteoarthritis within the different populations. The data indicate that although there were some differences found between the time periods, the changes were not as drastic as what may have been expected from the historical data. This is perhaps due to most Croatian people at the time being serfs, living a rugged lifestyle on the lands of feudal lords. Although the Ottomans may have been relentless rulers, they may not have worked common Croatians more so than their Croatian lords. Most people probably remained in their roles as craftsmen or food producers, which would not have left dramatic changes in the form of activity markers on the skeleton.