How diagenesis affects osteon counts on skeletal remains from Colha, Belize



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This histological study of Maya skeletal remains from Colha, Belize looked at 16 burials that yielded a total of 56 thin sections for analysis. These 56 thin sections were further divided into 24 thin sections from rib samples and 32 thin sections from clavicle samples. The data analyzed here can offer significant insight into the possibilities that microscopic histological features can provide in terms of knowledge about the health of a population. Unfortunately, due to the deteriorated condition of the bone and diagenesis present, the results obtained in this research did not make any significant correlations between skeletal lesions and the histological features analyzed with the exception of EH and clavicle ISOD. The findings described in this thesis need to be looked at in more depth in future research endeavors which focus specifically on trying to correlate the effects that dietary health and skeletal lesions have on the histological features of bone in Maya skeletal remains. The skeletal material that was used was known to suffer from multiple diet related bone pathologies, but the analysis did not allow any direct correlation to be made between diet and bone histology. Specifically, it was not possible to determine if diet or nutrition had any effect on the HCA, CBA or ISOD.