The Children of Rice Farmers: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Subadult Oral Health in the Southeast Asian Neolithic

Date
2015-05
Authors
McDougle, Alexandra
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Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
Neolithic Southeast Asian health is of bioarchaeological significance given it’s enigmatic status in light of known trends regarding population health and the introduction of agriculture. This study uses a small archaeological sample of skeletons from the Northern Philippines as a case study to demonstrate the potential for using subadult osteological samples as a means for better understanding the relationship between population health and subsistence in Southeast Asia. This skeletal sample primarily consists of the dental remains of 15 individuals ranging in age from neonate to 2 years at the time of death. Observations of dental caries, dental defects, trauma, and paleopathology were recorded in these skeletons. This study demonstrates the enormous potential of focusing on Southeast Asia for contextualizing our understanding of trends in “Global” health, as well as the importance of including subadult remains in reconstructing population health. The culmination of my literature review as well as the results from the 2014 Ifugao Archaeological Project, support the enigmatic nature of trends in Neolithic Southeast Asian health. This research can be used as a stepping-stone for future studies in understanding the complexities of population health and subsistence patterns.
Description
Keywords
Bioarchaeology, Subadult, Southeast Asia
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