Senior Thesis Abstract (Zoltick)
Frostbite and the Skeletal
Remains of Native Alaskans
Sub-field: Biological Anthropology
Advisor: Janet Monge, Biological Anthropologist, Department of Anthropology
A collection of Native Alaskan remains from Point Barrow, Alaska is currently housed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The collection was examined for evidence of frostbite to the bones of the hands and feet based on radiographic frostbite damage that has been found in present populations and paleopathologically. Bones of the hands and feet were present for a total of four individuals. However, the collection is incomplete. There is one possible finding of frostbite, which is thought to be an under presentation of the frostbite injuries that most likely occurred in the living population. A number of possible reasons for the lack of frostbite findings are explored.