The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


Naton Beach site: an examination of the skeletal remains of prehistoric Pre-Latte and Latte burials

CHERIE K. WALTH.

Cultural Resources Management, SWCA Environmental Consultants

Thursday All day, Plaza Level Add to calendar

The Naton Beach collection includes 172 Pre-Latte burials and 265 Latte burials. The size of the collection and systematic recording of the skeletal information provides a major contribution to the human biology of the region. Paleodemographic data, dental and skeletal morphology, and paleopathologic information is presented along with a description of some of the cultural differences between the two groups. The life expectancy for the Pre-Latte is 25.7 and 23.8 for the Latte. However, there was an under-representation of subadults in the Pre-Latte group. Both groups had a ratio of males to females that is nearly 1:1. The dental morphology indicates that the teeth of the Pre-Latte are significantly larger than those of the Latte and have different frequencies of key dental nonmetric traits. Skeletal morphology is similar in the two groups; one exception is a significant difference in the shape of the male femurs (anterior-posterior below the subtrochanter and at midshaft) between the Pre-Latte and Latte. A greater number of pathological conditions were observed on the Latte and more Latte individuals have pathologies recorded compared to the Pre-Latte. Yaws is observed on the Latte but not on the Pre-Latte. Cultural differences were observed in the dental remains. The Pre-Latte have a unique labial abrasion pattern on the upper anterior dentition that is not seen in the Latte. The Latte have betel nut stained teeth that is not observed in the Pre-Latte. The data from this site offer a unique opportunity to better understand the earliest occupants of Guam.

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