A bioarchaeological investigation of activity patterns in New Kingdom Nubia

Sarah A Schrader, Purdue University


This study utilizes a bioarchaeological approach to examine activity patterns at the Nubian site of Tombos. The town of Tombos, located at the Third Cataract of the Nile, was established as an imperial center and remained a functional protectorate of the Egyptian Empire throughout the Third Intermediate Period (1,400-1,050 BC). Human skeletal remains from the New Kingdom (1,550-1,069 BC) were analyzed for indications of osteoarthritis, vertebral degeneration and musculoskeletal stress markers. In addition to better understanding activity patterns at Tombos, this study has two primary objectives: (1) investigate the biological outcomes of imperial incorporation and consolidation, and (2) elucidate the role of Tombos as a constituent of the Egyptian Empire. Low levels of osteoarthritis, vertebral degeneration and entheseal remodeling reflect an imperial community that was not participating in a mechanically strenuous lifestyle. Furthermore, these data suggest Tombos served as a colonial administrative center as the Egyptian Empire successfully consolidated Nubia into the imperial regime of the New Kingdom.^




Michele R. Buzon, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Anthropology, Archaeology

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