Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Illinois Archaeology, vol. 20 (2008). Copyright © 2008 Illinois Archaeological Survey, Inc. Published by Illinois Archeological Survey & University of Illinois.


Human dentitions from Oakwood Mound were examined to ascertain dental health in this population. Attrition rate, carious lesions, and antemortem tooth loss were scored for each adult. No significant differences were present between the aforementioned variables by age or sex. The attrition rate supports the hypothesis that the individuals interred in Oakwood Mound shared similar subsistence strategies. The prevalence of carious lesions suggests a dependence on carbohydrates as a major dietary resource. High rates of antemortem tooth loss also may have resulted from reliance on this food source, although this connection is not as direct as the caries data. These data, along with more recent data on Langford subsistence, support the notion that these groups strongly relied on maize agriculture as a dietary staple. There appears to have been very little difference in maize consumption between Langford and neighboring Mississippian groups. These results are tentative, pending further information from other Mississippian sites.

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