Dental conditions at Grasshopper Pueblo: Evidence for dietary change and increased stress
AuthorFenton, Todd William, 1962-
AdvisorBirkby, Walter H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractA dental study of the adult human skeletal series (N = 225) from Grasshopper Pueblo in east-central Arizona is undertaken to address archaeological inferences on diet and stress. An intra-site research design is implemented to evaluate hypotheses on (1) dietary differences over time, between sexes and across space, and (2) differences in physiological stress over time, between sexes and across space at the pueblo. The dentitions are analyzed to collect data on caries, antemortem tooth loss, tooth wear, wear plane angles, alveolar recession and enamel hypoplasia. The teeth are partitioned along biological variables of sex and age, and dimensional variables of time period (early and late) and room block (RB1, RB2 and RB3). The diet/tooth usage results suggest that the diet during the late period at Grasshopper Pueblo was different than the diet during the early period. This is consistent with the inferred intensification of maize agriculture in the late period. In addition, female diets were different than male diets when placed in a temporal context. This is possibly associated with the inferred overexploitation of wild game that may have forced males to hunt farther from home during the late period. The childhood stress data indicate three key findings. First, males exhibited greater enamel hypoplasia frequencies than females. This is possibly associated with an inferred matrilineal-matrilocal social organization at Grasshopper in which female children may have been given preferential treatment. Second, Room Block 2 inhabitants exhibited the lowest frequencies of enamel hypoplasia. This is consistent with the inference that residents of Room Block 2 represent the founding population. Finally, late period inhabitants of Grasshopper Pueblo exhibited significantly greater enamel hypoplasia frequencies than the early period inhabitants. These results are consistent with the inference that life during the late period at Grasshopper was more stressful. The changes in diet and increases in physiological stress that are suggested by this dental study are most likely associated with the dynamics that ultimately led to the abandonment of this 14th-century 500 room pueblo.
Degree ProgramGraduate College