[Publication] Lumbosacral Defects in a 16th–18th-Century Joseon Dynasty Skeletal Series from Korea
Paleopathological evidence for congenital and degenerative disorders of the lumbosacral vertebrae is informative about ancient individual lifeways and physical conditions. However, very few studies have focused on the paleopathology of the lumbosacral vertebrae in ancient skeletal series from East Asia. One reason for the lack of studies is that skeletal samples from East Asia are typically insufficient in size to represent populations for comparative studies within the continent. Here, we present the first comprehensive analysis of lumbosacral defects in an East Asian human skeletal sample, examining occurrences of spina bifida occulta (SBO), lumbosacral transitional vertebrae (LSTV), and spondylolysis in remains from Joseon tombs dating to the 16–18th centuries in Korea. In this study, we present an alternative methodology for understanding activities of daily life among ancient Koreans through paleopathological analysis.