Stephanie Shkrum

StephanieShkrumInFieldstephanie shkrum

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Supervisors: Nancy Tayles, Sian Halcrow

Title of thesis: The adoption and intensification of agriculture in prehistory is often associated with poor levels of oral health because of an increased consumption of a starchy carbohydrate staple. This generalisation is based mainly on skeletal evidence from North American and Europe.


Recent evidence from prehistoric Southeast Asia has shown that this pattern of declining oral health is not universally applicable as intensive rice agriculture was not associated with high rates of dental disease. The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between oral health and the intensification of rice agriculture in a prehistoric skeletal collection from Ban Non Wat in Northeast Thailand. The site of Ban Not Wat was continually occupied from the Neolithic Period through the Iron Age (1750 BC to 400 AD), spanning from the early adoption of agriculture through to the intensification of this process. The study uses both macroscopic and radiographic analysis to investigate multiple indicators of oral health status (e.g. dental caries, periodontal status, calculus, periapical cavities, antemortem tooth loss, jaw variables).