Agriculture and dental caries? The case of rice in prehistoric Southeast Asia

Citation
N. Tayles et al., Agriculture and dental caries? The case of rice in prehistoric Southeast Asia, WORLD ARCHA, 32(1), 2000, pp. 68-83
Citations number
43
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Archeology
Journal title
WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY
ISSN journal
0043-8243 → ACNP
Volume
32
Issue
1
Year of publication
2000
Pages
68 - 83
Database
ISI
SICI code
0043-8243(200006)32:1<68:AADCTC>2.0.ZU;2-2
Abstract
The agricultural transition has long been recognized to have been a very im portant period in human prehistory. Its timing and consequences, including the effects on human health, have been intensively researched. In recent de cades, this has included the idea that there is a universal positive correl ation between the adoption of agriculture based on a carbohydrate staple cr op and dental caries prevalence. Tis is mainly based on evidence from Ameri ca, where maize was the staple crop. On the basis of evidence from prehisto ric skeletal samples from a series of prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia, this correlation does not appear to apply in areas of the world where the s taple crop is rice. Although we have looked only at dental caries, we sugge st that caution be applied in the drawing of inferences about subsistence c hanges from dental health. Patterns reflecting the adoption of one starchy staple are not necessarily applicable to all such crops.