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Methodological implications of intra- and inter-facet microwear texture variation for human childhood paleo-dietary reconstruction: Insights from the deciduous molars of extant and medieval children from France

Bas, Marlon, Le Luyer, Mona, Kanz, Fabian, Rebay-Salisbury, Katharina, Queffelec, Alain, Souron, Antoine, Willman, John, Bayle, Priscilla (2020) Methodological implications of intra- and inter-facet microwear texture variation for human childhood paleo-dietary reconstruction: Insights from the deciduous molars of extant and medieval children from France. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 31 . p. 102284. ISSN 2352-409X. (doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102284) (KAR id:81124)

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https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102284

Abstract

The present study concerns occlusal dental microwear texture variation on the deciduous molars of children. A description and evaluation of microwear texture variation within facet 9 and a comparison of microwear textures between grinding facets 9 and 11 are presented. The relationship between wear facet surface area and intra-facet microwear texture variability is evaluated. The sample is composed of naturally-exfoliated, taphonomy-free deciduous second molars from twelve extant children and four archaeologically-derived medieval children (for a total of 51 surface measurements). Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA) was performed using a confocal microscope and scale-sensitive fractal analysis (SSFA) at three standardized locations on facet 9, and one location on facet 11. Facet shape was visually assessed and scored using a headset magnifier (3×) and composite images (20× confocal microscopy). Individuals were assigned to two groups based on a qualitative assessment of facet surface area. Microwear texture variability within facet 9 was high relative to the variability of microwear textures between individuals. No significant inter-facet variation between facets 9 and 11 was detected. No clear differences in microwear and variabilities within facet 9 were found between individuals assigned to small and large facet groups. Our study shows the existence of important intra-facet microwear variation in a sample of children. Intra-facet microwear variation can affect the ability of DMTA to distinguish between diets in contexts with small sample sizes and subtle differences in diet – such as those characterizing dietary transitions in children. Results also suggest non-dietary factors may influence microwear formation during dental exfoliation. A better understanding of intra-facet microwear variation, and when and how to account for it, can improve the application of occlusal DMTA in similar contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102284
Uncontrolled keywords: Dental microwear texture analysis, Dental wear, Deciduous teeth, DMTA, Childhood diet
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: M. Le-Luyer
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 11:13 UTC
Last Modified: 05 May 2020 11:14 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/81124 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Le Luyer, Mona: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7999-0294
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