Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)
Jerome C. Rose
Robert C. Mainfort
Second Committee Member
Joseph M. Plavcan
Social sciences; Earth sciences; Dental anthropology; Interproximal tooth wear; Lower Mississippi valley; Transistion to agriculture
Current archaeological knowledge suggests that, by the Late Mississippian period, inhabitants of the southeastern United States had adopted maize agriculture and that maize was a key component of the normal diet. However, in some regions where wild food resources were easily attainable, there is evidence that the transition to agriculture was delayed or did not occur at all. This thesis examines Late Mississippian skeletal collections from two sites in eastern Arkansas, Ables Creek and Upper Nodena. Analysis of differences in interproximal tooth wear facet size and caries rates between the two populations reveals that the diets at these roughly contemporary sites were markedly different. The data collected and presented in this thesis reveals that the Ables Creek skeletal sample has significantly larger interproximal wear facets and dramatically lower caries rates than the Upper Nodena skeletal sample. This thesis discusses the possible cultural and ecological factors that could have led to this dietary difference. Additionally, this thesis introduces and assesses a new method for quantifying interproximal wear facet size.
Warren, Amy Reynolds, "The Truth Between the Teeth: An Analysis of Interproximal Tooth Wear at the Ables Creek Cemetery" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 330.