Porotic Hyperostosis and Cribra Orbitalia
What is this?
Anemia is when the body is unable to maintain the necessary levels of red blood cells. It can be inheritated, or it can be caused by life-style conditions. An example of hereditary anemia would be that of sickle cell disease, which results in malformed red blood cells that are unable to effciently carry oxygen throughout the body. Anemia can also be caused through life-style conditions, for example malnutrition through either famine-conditions or diseases that result from poor living conditions.
What causes this?
Both cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis are caused by herediatary and conditional anemias. These anemias result in the body being unable to create enough red blood cells and creating more red-blood-cell-prouducing bone in the skull.
How do bioarchaeologists study this?
Porotic hyperostosis is classfied by porous and pitted bone on the non-orbital, ectocranial surfaces of the skull. Cribia oribitalia is characterized by porous lesions found on the oribital roofs of the cranium. These are best used as stress-indicators on individuals.
Scoring methods for cribra orbitalia and porotic hyperostosis (Steckel et al. 2005).