The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Oral hygiene and patterns of use in teeth of individuals of six sites in northern Caucasus dating from Eneolithic Period to Bronze Age


1German Archaeological Institute, Berlin, Germany, 2Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Thursday 10:15-10:30, 200ABC Add to calendar

During the last years many new burials of the Eneolithic and Bronze Age period were excavated in the piedmont area of the Northern Caucasus. There exist very few paleopathological investigations regarding the life conditions of the almost unknown North Caucasian Culture. By investigating these people's teeth information about diet, oral hygiene and use of teeth as tools in geographical and chronological diverse sites can be received.

Morphological and paleopathological examination was carried out. For differential diagnosis microphotography and scanning electron microscope were used.

Teeth were investigated in six different burial sites dating from 4200-2100 BC: Marinskaya 5-1 (34 individuals), Marinskaya 3-1 (17 individuals), Sharachalsun 6-2 (19 individuals), Rasshevatskiy 1-21 (18 individuals), Progress 2-1 and 4 (7 individuals) and Vonjuchka 1-1 (7 individuals).

So far, out of 41 adults with well preserved teeth 29 (70.7%) showed interproximal grooving. The extensive activity leads to opening of the root canals in several cases. Signs of pronounced use are the extended abrasion especially of the frontal teeth and dental chipping. Caries was not very frequent. Enamel hypoplasia was found in 63% of the individuals. Calculus occured very frequently and in high value.

More samples especially of the Eneolithic period have to be examined, but so far no significant differences e.g. in the frequency of interproximal grooving and enamel hypoplasia are visible between Eneolithic and Bronze Age people of the same region. However, the most western located population, living in the steppe region, show less frequently interproximal grooving but more enamel hypoplasia.

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