Eighty-four skeletons pooled from 10 Toutswe tradition sites in east central Botswana are used to investigate the lifestyles of Early Iron Age inhabitants of Botswana. The Toutswe people arrived in central Botswana at approximately AD 700 into a land previously occupies seasonally by hunter-gatherers. The investigation entails an assessment of the demographic profile, gross pathology, dental health and characteristics as well as skeletal growth of the Toutswe polity. Macroscopic observation of age markers, sex indicators, skeletal and dental lesions is the main tool used in the analysis. The sites from which the skeletons come from are characterized by similar ceramics and settlement layout. From the archaeological point of view, it has been accepted that while these were different villages or towns, the communities were culturally homogeneous. There is no evidence to suggest that the communities were genetically heterogeneous and this investigation took on a premise that the skeletons are of the same population affinity. The low frequencies of nonspecific markers of stress and the absence of chronic infection suggest that the communities were generally healthy especially when compared to K2/Mapupngubwe people. However, the demographic profile, which is characterized b high infant mortality, suggests that the children may have been more prone to acute diseases. Degenerative diseases and traumatic lesions are within frequencies often reported in southern African prehistory and there is a possible case of DISH. The analysis of dental health suggest that the diet of the Toutswe people was non-cariogenic
Dissertation (MSc (Anatomy))--University of Pretoria, 2007.