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Verleihung des BAG-Förderpreises 2019, Kategorie Masterarbeit
22. Dezember 2020
Der BAG-Förderpreis 2019 für Masterarbeiten wurde heute an Elisa-Maria Praxmarer BSc MSc, Universität Wien, Fakultät für Lebenswissenschaften, verliehen. Der Vorstand der BAG gratuliert aufs Herzlichste!
Titel der Arbeit
The Bony Pelvis: Macroscopic Analysis of the Frequency and Morphology of the so-called Scars of Parturition and their Relationship with Sex, Age, Body Mass and Pelvic Dimensions
The theory behind the formation and manifestation of the so-called „scars of parturition“ and particularly their possible use in determining parity history is still a debated issue among anthropologists. In spite of large amounts of studies, the results are in part contradictory and hence, a true relationship between the pelvic scars and pregnancy and childbirth could not be conclusively shown yet. Since skeletal collections with information about the parity history of female individuals are rare, the best approach is to investigate the relationship of scarring with other potential factors influencing its formation and manifestation. The aim of the present study was to measure and observe the variability of morphology and frequency of the parturition scars, namely the dorsal pubic pits, the pubic tubercle, and the preauricular sulcus, in a Lithuanian skeletal collection provided by the University of Vilnius comprising 170 males and 130 females. The body mass was estimated and measurements of the pelvic girdle were taken. The pelvic scars, pelvic dimensions, and body mass estimates were compared according to sex and age at death. Further, the relationship between scarring, pelvic measurements, and body mass was examined. The statistical analysis showed that pelvic scarring was present in both sexes, however, the degree and frequency was significantly greater in females. The scar features were also found among all age groups, whereby the incidence and manifestation of the imprints either increased or remained unchanged with advancing age. The correlation test revealed a significant positive relationship between pubic length and pubic tubercle diameter and the anterior upper spinal breadth and the tubercle height in females. A significant negative association was found between the distance of the ischial spines and the extension of the pubic tubercle and the pubic length and sulcus width in women. Body mass correlated significantly negatively with the tubercle height, sulcus length and sulcus width in the female sample. In the youngest age group, the body mass estimate showed a positive relationship with pit length, whereas in middle-aged adults it was negatively correlated with the preauricular sulcus length and width. The results indicate that pregnancy and childbirth cannot be the primary factors that cause pelvic scarring. Also, body mass does not affect scar formation substantially. Instead, pelvic architecture and the weight-bearing function of the pelvis might contribute primarily to its formation. Females exhibit a more flexible pelvic girdle with greater mobility, which increases the strain acting on the pelvic ligaments and hence, causes scar formation.