A RE-EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF RADIOGRAPHIC ORIENTATION ON THE IDENTIFICATION AND INTERPRETATION OF HARRIS LINES
Scott, Amy B.
Hoppa, Robert D.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
The identification of Harris lines through radiographic analysis has been well-established since their discovery in the late 19th century. Most commonly associated with stress, the study of Harris lines has been fraught with inconsistent identification standards, high levels of intra- and inter-observer error, and the inevitability of skeletal remodelling. Despite these methodological challenges, the use of Harris lines remains an important contributor to studies of health in archaeological populations. This research explores the radiographic process, specifically orientation and how Harris lines are initially captured for study. Using the Black Friars (13th – mid 17th centuries) skeletal sample from Denmark, 157 individuals (134 adults; 23 subadults) were radiographically analyzed in both an anterior-posterior (A-P) and medial-lateral (M-L) view for the left and right radii and tibiae. Based on the current methodological standards within the literature, it was hypothesized that the A-P view would provide the best resolution and visualization of Harris lines. The results, however, show that the number of lines visible in the M-L view were significantly higher than those visible in the A-P view; inferring that the M-L view is superior for the study of Harris lines.
Radiography, archaeological dry bone, anterior-posterior, medial-lateral, X-ray