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Cribra orbitalia, sinusitis and linear enamel hypoplasia in Swedish Roman Iron Age adults and subadults
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Osteoarchaeological Research Laboratory.
2010 (English)In: International journal of osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1047-482X, E-ISSN 1099-1212Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cranial skeletal lesions as well as linear enamel hypoplasias were investigated in an Early Iron Age (0–260 A.D.) population from Sweden. The analyses included the study of maxillary- and frontal sinusitis, cribra orbitalia and enamel hypoplasias in order to investigate nutritional and environmental related stress as well as possible relation to oral health. A majority of both subadult and adult individuals exhibited maxillary sinusitis as well as cribra orbitalia. In contrast, linear enamel hypoplasias were not frequently noted, although, the highest frequencies were found among the subadult individuals. In seven cases (12.7%) there was a clear correlation between a periapical lesions and maxillary sinusitis. A significant correlation between maxillary sinusitis and frontal sinusitis was found among adult individuals. Sixty-eight percent of the adults showed lesions in both these regions. The least common combination in adults was cribra orbitalia and enamel hypoplasias where 7.7% only exhibited lesions in both these regions. The significantly higher incidence of this combination among subadults at Smörkullen suggests that this may have been related to life threatening conditions. Overall, the result showed that the individuals at Smörkullen foremost suffered from upper respiratory diseases as well as nutritional deficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Ltd , 2010.
Keyword [en]
sinusitis;cribra orbitalia;linear enamel hypoplasia;periapical lesions;Early Iron Age;Sweden
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37293DOI: 10.1002/oa.1209OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-37293DiVA: diva2:298357
Available from: 2010-12-09 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Oral Disease and Health Patterns: Dental and Cranial Paleopathology of the Early Iron Age Population at Smörkullen in Alvastra, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Oral Disease and Health Patterns: Dental and Cranial Paleopathology of the Early Iron Age Population at Smörkullen in Alvastra, Sweden
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In skeletal remains of ancient populations, evidence of dental and craniofacial pathology is often well preserved in the form of lesions on the teeth or bones. Meticulous, detailed recording of these lesions provides baseline data on which a realistic assessment can be made of the probable impact of dental diseases and its sequelae on health of these earlier populations.

In the present thesis, dental and cranial pathology were recorded in the remains of an Iron Age population, with special reference to the possible impact of such conditions on general health and well-being. The skeletal remains had been excavated early last century from the burial ground Smörkullen, Alvastra, Östergötland, in Eastern Central Sweden: osteological analyses showed that the material comprised the remains of 65 subadult individuals and 104 adult individuals of both sexes. The dental status of most of the adult individuals was poor. Calculus, periodontitis, moderate and severe carious lesions and periapical infections were recorded. In contrast, subadult showed less evidence of dental disease. The results indicate that the perception of health in adults was probably negatively affected by their poor oral status. The dental status of subadults, on the other hand, was unlikely to have had a negative impact on their general well-being. A sex difference was observed in the material, males tending to more ongoing disease than females. Overall, the frequencies of both dental and cranial pathologies increased with age.

Caries frequency in the material was noticeable higher than in numerous other studies in Scandinavian populations. Although the high caries rates at Smörkullen may be attributable to a diet rich in carbohydrates, the result may to some extent have been influenced by observer experience. Caries rates in other populations are likely to be under-estimated in comparison with Smörkullen. However, methodological factors alone cannot not explain all the observed differences.

The recording of cranial pathologies disclosed malnutrition and upper respiratory problems in all age groups in the Smörkullen material. This most certainly affected their well-being. In some cases the pathology observed was directly associated with life-threatening conditions. Analyses of combinations of pathologies suggest that a combination of linear enamel hypoplasias and cribra orbitalia, mainly observed in those who died before the age of fifteen, may have been related to a lower probability of survival. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies Stockholm University, 2010. 96 p.
Series
Theses and papers in osteoarchaeology, ISSN 1652-4098 ; 6
Keyword
Smörkullen, Alvastra, Sweden, Early Iron Age, dental disease, cranial lesion, caries diagnostics, pathways of infections, dietary patterns, environment, health
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Osteoarchaeology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-37301 (URN)978-91-7447-011-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-03-26, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of doctoral defence the following publications were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: manuscript. Paper 2: manuscript. Paper 3: manuscript.Available from: 2010-03-04 Created: 2010-02-22 Last updated: 2010-12-09Bibliographically approved

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