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Title: Dental caries among the prehispanic population from Gran Canaria
Authors: Delgado Darias, Teresa 
Velasco Vázquez, Francisco Javier 
Arnay-De-La-Rosa, M.
Martín-Rodríguez, E.
González-Reimers, E.
UNESCO Clasification: 550501 Arqueología
Keywords: paleonutrition
Gran Canaria
Canary Islands
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: 0002-9483
Journal: American journal of physical anthropology 
Abstract: The island of Gran Canaria was inhabited in pre‐Hispanic times by people of North African origin who arrived on the island towards the second half of the first millennium BC. In previous studies, we reported that there are some differences between the coastal inhabitants from Gran Canaria, mainly buried in tumuli, and those from the central mountains, mainly buried in caves. For example, the prevalence of auricular exostoses is higher among the population interred in coastal tumuli when compared with the inland population. This finding may be explained by the practice of marine activities, as supported by chroniclers' reports, by archaeological data, and by bone trace‐element analysis, which point to a more intense consumption of marine products by the inhabitants of the coastal regions. Dental caries epidemiology is one of the most important ways in which the diet of past populations can be reconstructed. The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence and intensity of caries among the pre‐Hispanic population of Gran Canaria, in order to increase our knowledge about the dietary habits of these people, and to search for differences among the population buried in caves and that buried in tumuli. We studied a total of 791 individuals. Sex was estimated in 561 cases, and age at death, following Brothwell's criteria, in 549. We found that 66.95% of individuals buried in caves and 58.91% of those buried in tumuli showed at least one carious lesion. The proportion of carious teeth was significantlty higher among the population buried in caves (median = 15.71%, interquartile range (IR) = 0–33.33%) than among the population buried in tumuli (median = 6.25%, IR = 0–20%, P = 0.001). Type of burial is the main factor associated with the proportion of carious teeth.These data suggest that the population buried in caves had a different dietary pattern from that of those buried in tumuli.
ISSN: 0002-9483
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20087
Source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology[ISSN 0002-9483],v. 128, p. 560-568
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