image/svg+xml55 VII/1/2016 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Buccal Dental Microwear of a Barbarian Population from Prague-Zličín – a Study of the Migration Period in the Czech Republic Ivana Jarošová a* , Jiří Vávra a , Jaroslav Jiřík b,c , Marcela Horáková a a Labrys, o. p. s., Hloubětínská 16/11, 198 00 Praha 9, Czech Republic b Prácheň Museum in Písek, Velké náměstí 114, 397 24 Písek, Czech Republic c Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts, Institute of Prehistory and Early History, Celetná 20, 116 36 Praha 1, Czech Republic 1. Introduction Buccal microwear analyses have been carried out on numerous past populations. Focusing mainly on inter- and intra-population variability within the non-occlusal striation pattern of postcanine dentition, these analyses have yielded valuable information on dietary habits (Puech et al. 1980; Pérez-Pérez et al. 1994; Lalueza et al. 1996; Pérez-Pérez 1990; 2004; Estebaranz et al. 2012, etc. ). These fndings have been recently supported by research on the buccal microwear patterns of African Pygmy Foragers and Bantu- Speaking Farmers and pastoralist populations that proved the diferent dietary habits to be independent of ecological conditions and refected the abrasive properties of preferred foods (Romero et al. 2013). Proven fndings show that there is a tendency for less striations and a higher frequency of vertical striations exhibited on the dental surfaces of carnivore populations rather than of vegetarian ones (Lalueza et al. 1996). The high incidence of abrasive particles in plant foods (phytoliths) result in higher scratch densities and an increasingly horizontally-oriented, vestibular microwear pattern in agricultural populations (Lalueza et al. 1996). The embedding of phytoliths in enamel surfaces and their classifcation has been demonstrated in the previous research of Lalueza Fox and his colleagues (1994) in a sample from La Olmeda, Spain. In addition, buccal microwear is independent of the analyzed teeth of individuals, as intergroup variability appears to be signifcantly higher than intragroup variability and to be independent of seasonal variations in dietary Volume VII ● Issue 1/2016 ● Pages 55–70 *Corresponding author. E-mail: ivanajar@gmail.com ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 11 th December 2015Accepted: 28 th July 2016 Key words: Buccal dental microwearDietSEM Prague-Zličín Migration Periodsocial status ABSTRACT Buccal dental microwear analysis was carried out on a sample of 46 individuals from the Prague-Zličín site, Czech Republic. The Prague-Zličín burial ground is dated to the Migration Period, 5 th century AD. For each individual, molars or premolars were analyzed in secondary electrons of scanning electron microscope. The length, orientation and number of all observed striations were quantifed using SigmaScan Pro 5.0, image analysis software. Subsequently, results obtained were compared with published datasets acquired from studies of various modern hunter-gatherers, pastoral, and agricultural populations with diferent dietary habits (Lalueza et al. 1996). The analysis yielded a similar microwear pattern within the Prague-Zličín population. The density and the length of microstriations showed no inter-group variability according to sex and age in adults; only an age-related variability, which might have resulted from diferent ratios of meat and vegetable intake, was observed between adults and subadults. The abrasiveness of food consumed in the Migration period was signifcantly higher than the other comparative Neolithic and Medieval samples in terms of striation density (NT) and length (XT). The observed amounts of abrasive particles in the diet might have originated from highly-abrasive food and/or food preparation technology. Migration period individuals were found to have a signifcantly higher number of vertical microwear features (NV), which were also found to be longer (XV) than other examined individuals from diferent periods. A possible high meat intake might be inferred in the Prague-Zličín population using NH/NT and NV/NT ratios. When comparing social status with dietary habits, a softer diet was found in individuals with higher social status.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 55–70Ivana Jarošová, Jiří Vávra, Jaroslav Jiřík, Marcela Horáková: Buccal Dental Microwear of a Barbarian Population from Prague-Zličín – a Study of the Migration Period in the Czech Republic 56 habits due to the long-term “turnover” efect in comparison to occlusal microwear pattern (Pérez-Pérez et al. 1994). Moreover, recent research of the observed long-term stability of buccal microwear patterns has shown them to be a reliable indicator of overall dietary habits (Romero et al. 2012). 2. Material and methods 2.1 Prague-Zličín burial ground The archaeological site is located at the western edge of Prague (Czech Republic) and a complete skeletal burial ground was excavated here between 2005 and 2008. It is dated to the Migration Period, to the greater part of the 5 th century AD, and the skeletons buried there belong to the so-called Vinařice Group (for more details, see Vávra et al. 2008; Vávra et al. 2012; Jiřík et al. 2015). From a historical point of view, this studied population inhabited an area just outside the Roman Empire: its members were considered as Barbarians inhabiting and migrating behind and along the fortifed borders (Limes Romanus) of the Roman Empire. The analyzed skeletal sample consisted of 176 burials in 173 graves with the remains of 180 individuals. The state of bone preservation was very low (due to the geochemical and hydrological conditions, and the re-opening activities of looters), thus only 113 individuals were available for anthropological evaluation, including 19 subadults (0–14 years), and 94 adult individuals over 15 years (“adult” in terms of social status, not biological status) that consisted of 26 males, 33 females and 35 adult individuals of unknown sex (Víšková et al. 2012; Horáková et al. 2014; Horáková, Jarošová 2015). A preliminary analysis of buccal dental microwear from the Prague-Zličín population was undertaken on a random sample of 23 adult individuals (15+ yrs) and indicated a meat-based diet with large amounts of abrasive particles (NT=94.3) in their food; no statistically-signifcant sex- and age- (within the sample of studied age categories: 15–19 yrs; 20–35 yrs; 35–50 yrs; 50+ yrs) related diferences were found within the Prague-Zličín population (Horáková et al. 2014).In the current analysis, all 89 individuals from this burial ground with posterior teeth ( i.e. premolars and molars) present were intended to be included in the dental microwear analysis, but due to postmortem enamel defects on a microscopic ( e.g. grave 62, 64, 103, 172a, 174) or macroscopic level, only 46 individuals (51.7%) were included and the other 43 individuals (48.3%) had to be excluded. The microscopic damage found at the enamel surface can be attributed to post-mortem taphonomic processes, which afect the enamel surfaces and make it impossible to perform a dietary reconstruction (Martínez, Pérez-Pérez 2004). The damage patterns observed within the Prague-Zličín sample at the microscopic level (using SEM) included eroded surfaces with an irregular aspect, in some cases with a high density of parallel striations, or patches of slightly-damaged enamel, or an eroded enamel surface exhibiting incremental growth lines, known as perikymata. All the observed types of damage present at the microscopic level were known examples and had already been described in detail elsewhere (see Martínez, Pérez-Pérez 2004).Thus, for the buccal microwear analysis, 7 subadult (0–14 yrs) and 39 adult (over 15 yrs) individuals with well-preserved buccal surfaces were eventually deemed suitable, and these constitute the fnal data collection for this population (Table 1). Data on each individual’s sex and age-at-death has been adapted from previous estimations carried out in a palaeodemographic analysis (Víšková et al. 2012). Individuals that were tested for their dental microwear pattern were also linked with their grave goods in order to Table 1. Demographics of the 46 individuals from Prague-Zličín tested for dental microwear pattern. AgeGender0–6 yrs7–14 yrs15–35 yrs35–50 yrs50+ yrsTotal Subadults Adults Ambiguous 424311468 Females 1394 17 116 Males 3841515 Total431020946739 Table 2. Individuals from Prague-Zličín grouped according to grave goods: GG0 = unknown grave goods; GG1 = common grave goods containing ceramic, bronze or iron objects, beads from glass; GG2 = grave goods containing precious materials as gold, silver, amber, or glass vessels. Grave goodsGenderAgeGG0GG1GG2Total Ambiguous all26614subadults336adults2338 Females all269 17 subadults11adults26816 Males all5 7 315adults5 7 315 Totalall9191846
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2016 ● VII/1 ● 55–70Ivana Jarošová, Jiří Vávra, Jaroslav Jiřík, Marcela Horáková: Buccal Dental Microwear of a Barbarian Population from Prague-Zličín – a Study of the Migration Period in the Czech Republic 57 show possible social stratifcation according to their dietary habits. Unfortunately, 44 of the 46 graves showed evidence of having been re-opened by looters, which would, of course, distort valuable information on their real social status; only graves no. 152 and 168 did not show any disruption of their burial area. Both of these graves contained grave goods made of precious materials. On the one hand, a lot of information regarding the original burial inventory is today unknown; on the other hand, the richest grave, no. 61 situated in the middle of the burial area, contained gold objects even after having been re-opened. With this information, we can only assume that the number of all objects put in the graves of this Prague- Zličín population was very high; but, up till now, only partial studies can be reasonably made. To conclude, currently the well-preserved grave goods have been categorized into three groups: all graves in group GG0 contained no objects and all of them had been re-opened (19.6%); these graves could have contained common or precious goods, but it is unknownable today. The next group of graves in category GG1 contained ceramic, bronze or iron objects, and/or glass beads (41.3%),