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Micro-fossil analysis of Mesolithic human dental calculus, Motala, Sweden - Indications of health status and paleo-diet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences. Geological Survey of Sweden, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
2019 (English)In: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, ISSN 2352-409X, E-ISSN 2352-4103, Vol. 26, article id 101866Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We analysed microfossil remains in human dental calculus sampled from an individual of the Mesolithic burials at Strandvägen, Motala, central Sweden. The analysis was targeted on phytoliths, diatoms and fungal spores. The composition of the phytolith assemblage suggests that plant micro-fossils found in the dental calculus partially stem from reeds of Phragmites. This suggests that the studied individual was consuming and/or manipulating reeds with his teeth. Spherical fungal spores were abundant in the calculus, possibly indicating weak health status, although it cannot be excluded that they originate from natural long-term accumulations. The diatom composition in the dental calculus was dominated by Cyclotella distinguenda, a species which is strongly linked to waters of the nearby Lake Vättern. This suggests that the studied individual primarily used water, and/or aquatic flora/fauna, from Lake Vättern.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 26, article id 101866
Keywords [en]
Dental calculus, Mesolithic burial, Paleo-diet, Phytoliths, Fungal spores, Diatoms, Hunter-gatherer-fisher
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-176437DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2019.05.031ISI: 000498890000020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-176437DiVA, id: diva2:1375488
Available from: 2019-12-05 Created: 2019-12-05 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Norström, ElinGustavsson, RudolfGummesson, Sara
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