Archeologia e Calcolatori Archeologia e Calcolatori
National Research Council Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico
Dipartimento Scienze Umane e Sociali, Patrimonio Culturale

Journal established by: Mauro Cristofani and Riccardo Francovich
Editor: Paola Moscati

Authors Esquivel, J.A. - al Oumaoui, I. - Jiménez-Brobeil, S. -
Title Statistical analysis using multistate qualitative variables applied to the human dental morphological traits in the Bronze Age (Granada, Spain, 1300-1500 B.C.)
Volume Archeologia e Calcolatori n. XV - 2004
In Moscati P. (ed.), New Frontiers of Archaeological Research. Languages, Communication, Information Technology, Moscati P. (ed.)
Pages pp. 239-255
Publisher Edizioni All'Insegna del Giglio
Subject Statistics
Subject Archaeometry
Abstract The study of dental morphological traits in prehistoric populations is a new method of analysis and allows us to determine important characteristics of different human populations. In this paper we study the dental feature traits proposed by the ASU System (developed by Turner et al. in Arizona State University) by means of an alphanumeric and graphic database recording the dental morphological characteristics and the possible dental diseases (caries, dental wear, etc.). These traits are easily observed, and persist many years in dentally harsh life styles, evolving very slowly and without sex dimorphism. The multivariate data set obtained using the ASU System is defined by means of multistate qualitative variables, and the methodology of statistical analysis is the following: – The MMD test (Mean Measures of Divergence) was developed by Sjovold (1977) to observe the differences between two or more previously established and defined groups by means of multistate qualitative variables. It is also possible to test if existing differences among populations are ethnic, cultural, etc. – A Cluster Analysis algorithm developed by one of the authors (Esquivel1988) that enables us to build a grouping using qualitative multistate variables by means of specific developments in Information Theory established by Claude Shannon. Therefore, it is possible to determine the similarities of dental morphological traits between human groups, and compare these results with other previous information from archaeological data. This methodology has been applied to analyse human genetic diversity using exclusively dental morphological characteristics to determine the diffusion of the culture of the Argar, a prehistoric culture which existed in 1300-1500 BC The analysis has been applied to the teeth of 116 subjects belonging to the Argaric culture in the neighbouring settlements of Castellón Alto and Fuente Amarga (Granada, Spain), and the teeth of 58 subjects belonging to the non-Argaric settlement of La Navilla, also 1300-1500 BC, about 150 Kms. Distant. The results show a biological continuity, endogamy phenomena and genetic drifts. Finally, the study of the maxillar pathology like cavities and dental wear tells us about dental health, food and food preparation.
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