Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269271742

From: mtDNA H Project <>
Subject: [DNA] Diet reconstruction in antebellum Baltimore: Insights fromdental microwear analysis
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 10:29:02 -0500

Research Article
Diet reconstruction in antebellum Baltimore: Insights from dental
microwear analysis
Peter H. Ma a, Mark F. Teaford *
Center for Functional Anatomy & Evolution, Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205
email: Mark F. Teaford ()

*Correspondence to Mark F. Teaford, Functional Anatomy and Evolution,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 E. Monument St.,
Room 303, Baltimore, MD 21205

aCurrent address: Penn State Hershey Medical Center Hershey, PA 17033

Funded by:
 National Science Foundation

Homo sapiens • molar • incisor • tooth wear

Construction in the City of Baltimore during 1996 led to the recovery
of human skeletal remains dating from 1792 to 1856. Historical
research indicates that the skeletal remains come from two adjacent
graveyards: Christ's Church Episcopalian Cemetery and the Potters
Field East. The different socioeconomic status of the internees in
each cemetery suggests the possibility of marked contrasts in
lifestyle, health, and diet. To shed further light on these
possibilities, analyses of microscopic wear patterns on teeth, or
dental microwear analyses, were undertaken. A sample from Spanish
Florida was used to help interpret the results. Epoxy casts of incisor
and molar teeth were placed in an SEM and photomicrographs of clean
wear facets were taken. The photomicrographs were digitized using the
software package Microware 4.02. Statistical analyses of rank
transformed data consisted of single-factor ANOVA, followed by post
hoc tests. No significant differences were found between Christ's
Church and Potters Field East samples for any of the variables
examined in either molar or incisor teeth. However, differences
between each Baltimore sample and the La Florida samples give
suggestions of possible diet differences in antebellum Baltimore. The
mosaic of differences between the Baltimore and La Florida samples
probably reflects the wide variety of foods available to antebellum
Baltimoreans as well as the relative lack of abrasives in their diet.
Am J Phys Anthropol, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Received: 30 October 2008; Accepted: 2 August 2009

10.1002/ajpa.21177  About DOI

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