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

Dental Microwear; A Window into Dietary Texture During the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in East Lokris Greece


1Archaeology, Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research, 2Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, Mississippi State University

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The assessment of dietary indicators is a key component of a thorough bioarchaeological analysis. Dental microwear has been examined for the last 40 years to investigate diet in humans and primates. This study uses dental microwear texture analysis as well as traditional dental microwear methods to document the dental microwear signature of two skeletal collections from the sites of Mitrou and Tragana Agia Triada, located in East Lokris, Greece. Mitrou, located in the Bay of Atalanti, has recently been the focus of archaeological excavations. The second site, Agia Triada, was excavated in the 1990s and consists of nine Late Helladic chamber tombs located 3 km from Mitrou. Burials recovered from these two sites are demographically diverse. The combined skeletal collections offer a unique opportunity to examine the diet of Bronze and Iron Age populations from central Greece.

The two samples complement each other temporally, with the Agia Triada tombs representing Late Helladic periods and the burials at Mitrou representing Middle to early Late Helladic and Protogeometric period burials. This research represents an expansion of preliminary studies conducted by the authors examining geographic and temporal variation in dental microwear during the Bronze to Iron Age transition at these two sites. The results from the present analysis indicate no significant difference between the samples when they are grouped by time or site. While there is no apparent statistical difference in microwear signature between the various groups, the results from each method indicate the same general dietary trends.

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