Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Andrew Nelson

2nd Supervisor

Dr. El Molto

Joint Supervisor


Few studies in paleopathology focus on the sternum as a unit of analysis to determine how it can contribute to disease diagnosis in the past. This thesis tested the null hypothesis that manubrial porosity was not associated with respiratory disease or pulmonary tuberculosis. One hundred fifty-four individuals from the Luis Lopes Skeletal Collection were assessed for manubrial porosity. This study sought to be as comprehensive as possible, and thus tested several variables to identify any significant associations with manubrial porosity. Using the odds ratio, 95% confidence interval, and chi-square tests, significant associations exist between manubrial porosity, adolescence, and sternal body shape at the p = 0.05 confidence level, but associations do not exist with disease. This research showed that the sternum could not be used to aid in the diagnosis of respiratory disease or pulmonary tuberculosis, and that the etiology and/or significance of manubrial porosity remains to be definitively ascertained.