The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Dental analysis of prehistoric populations in coastal Ecuador


Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University

April 17, 2020 , Platinum Ballroom Add to calendar

This project compares the human dentition of three coastal populations in Salango, Ecuador, dating to Late Guangala (Site 141C: 100 B.C. – A.D. 800), Early Manteño (Site 35: A.D. 645 +/- 45 and A.D. 430), and Late Manteño (Site 140: A.D. 1300 – 1600). The human remains in Sites 141C and 140 have not been previously analyzed and provide new information about coastal Ecuador in the form of statistical analysis and osteobiographies. Dental pathologies such as caries, abscesses, calculus, hypoplasia, as well as dental wear patterns indicate subsistence, or diet, behavioral and cultural practices, and early developmental physiological stress. The data suggests that agriculture became more intensive during Site 35’s occupation, whereas the other two sites simultaneously used the sea and agriculture for food, and neither practice dominated. Further, early developmental physiological stress became significantly more apparent during Site 140’s occupation, suggesting these individuals were heavily affected by climate, Spanish colonization and subsequent disease, social struggles, and/or dietary deficiency. Site 140 also presents more intensive and abnormal wear on the anterior teeth, indicating an increase in specialized behavioral or cultural practices.

Slides/Poster (pdf)