Ancient Teeth: An integrative analysis of shifting trends in dental traits in human populations from Neolithic to Iron Age.

Brief summary of the project

The shift to agriculture was one of the most significant events in human evolution driving major biological and cultural change globally. A key element in all indigenous agricultural transitions is a shift to sedentarism, which is accompanied by changes in subsistence from hunter-gathering to farming. The nature, duration and timing of the onset of agriculture varied across Europe, as well as the technological, cultural and biological evolution following this transition. This shift started in the Great Hungarian Plain (GHP) around 6,000 cal BC, followed by several cultural and technological transitions during the next several millennia. The objective of the present project is to characterize, for the first time, the changes in dental traits of past European populations from the Neolithic to Iron Age, and the factors influencing these transitions, integrating data from several multidisiciplinary and state-of-the-art approaches.

Research questions

ANCIENT TEETH project aims to answer the following questions:

  1. Can population replacements observed from Neolithic to Iron Age in GHP through molecular studies be confirmed using the dental morphology proxy for genetics?
  2. Did the above-mentioned population replacements correspond to significant changes in diet?
  3. Were dietary patterns homogenous within populations or did social stratification, as that resulting from sex, play a differentiating role?

Publications and results

PLOS_ONE_HiResGamarra, B., Howcroft, R., McCall, A., Dani, J., Hajdú, Z., Nagy, E.G., Szabó, L.D., Domboróczki, L., Pap, I., Raczky, P., Marcsik, A.,  offmann, Z. K., Hajdu, T., Feeney, R. N. M., Pinhasi, R. (2018) 5000 years of dietary variations of prehistoric farmers in the Great Hungarian Plain. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0197214.

logo (1)23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologist, Maastrich (Netherlands). 2017. Poster: Gamarra, B., Howcroft, R., McCall, A., Dani, J., Domboróczki,L., Pap, I., Raczky, P., Anders, A., Hajdu, T., Pinhasi, R. 5000 years of dietary variations of prehistoric farmers at the Great Hungarian Plain.

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