Samantha Purchase


Samantha Purchase is a Masters' student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her supervisor is Dr. Angela Lieverse. She has recently received a SSHRC scholarship for her research into the nature of culture change in the Cis-Baikal region via the analysis of macroscopic indicators of infection in the human skeleton as an indicator of physiological stress levels amongst both the Kitoi and Isakovo-Serovo-Glaskovo (ISG) cultural complexes of said region. Previous research has not only noted the presence of a number of infectious indicators such as cribra orbitalia, porotic hyperostosis, periostitis, and septic arthritis in the Cis-Baikal skeletal samples, but also the relatively low percentage of individuals displaying signs of infectious disease in general (4.1% of observed individuals; Lieverse, 2010). That the pre-hiatus Kitoi experienced more physiological stress than did the subsequent post-hiatus ISG has also been noted (Antonova, 2011; Lieverse et al., 2007; Lieverse, 2010; Waters-Rist 2011). By examining the nature of illness as expressed in the skeletal samples from both cultures, she hopes to explain the reason for this increase, be it dietary, infectious, or other. She is extremely passionate about both archaeology and osteology (and palaeopathology in particular). Her interest in infection comes from a desire to marry both scientific and cultural analysis, and from a deep respect for palaeopathology's ability to allow us to further understand the life ways of archaeological cultures. This will be her first major independent research project, and she is looking forward to beginning it.

Bakail Hokkaido archaeology project