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Developmental Stress and Survival among the Mid Upper Paleolithic Sunghir Children: Dental Enamel Hypoplasias of Sunghir 2 and 3



The Sunghir 2 and 3 late juvenile to early adolescent immature skeletons, from the Mid Upper Paleolithic (Eastern Gravettian) of northern Russia, exhibit several episodes of dental enamel hypoplasias. Those of the older male Sunghir 2 relate principally to a stress episode in the third year post-natal, although subsequent minor stress episodes may be indicated. They are not accompanied by other marked developmental abnormalities. The younger female Sunghir 3 exhibits at least three episodes of pronounced post-natal stress through the third to fifth years post-natal, followed by femoral and tibial growth arrest lines that formed shortly before her death at 9–11 years. These first decade post-natal stress episodes of Sunghir 3 may be related to the same developmental condition that produced her abnormally bowed femora pre-natally and/or to continued frailty related to that condition. Surviving these stress episodes for different lengths of time, both Sunghir 2 and 3 were awarded the most elaborate Paleolithic burial known. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.