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'Jarošová I, Tvrdý Z, 2017: Diet and diversity of early farmers in Neolithic period ( LBK): Buccal dental microwear and stable isotopic analysis at Vedrovice
(Czech Republic) and Nitra - Horné Krškany (Slovakia). Anthropologie (Brno) 55, 3: 353-384'.
|Recently, there have been two international bioarchaeological projects focusing on LBK: "Biological and
cultural identity of first farmers: Multiple bio-archaeological analysis of a central European cemetery (Vedrovice) project"
known also as "Vedrovice bioarchaeology project" and "The first farmers of central Europe: diversity in LBK lifeways".
We took a similar approach at a local level and analysed dental microwear pattern by comparing the results with already
published stable isotopic data (carbon & nitrogen) (Richards et al. 2008, Smrčka et al. 2005, 2008a and Whittle et al.
2013) to deepen our knowledge about the dietary habits of individuals living and eating in the early LBK.
Buccal dental microwear analysis as a short-term indicator of diet was carried out on a sample of 43 individuals from
the Vedrovice site (Czech Republic) and of 49 individuals from the Nitra - Horné Krškany site (Slovakia) with wellpreserved
dental enamel to compare site-based diversity using dental microwear. Both sites belong among the earliest
cemeteries in the Central European region (or in a broader sense, the Middle Danube area) as they are dated to
Neolithic period, specifically the early phase of LBK, since the burials in Vedrovice and Nitra mostly spanned 53rd–52nd
century cal BC (Pettitt, Hedges 2008, Griffiths 2013, Whittle et al. 2013). For each individual, replicas of the buccal
surface of molars or premolars that showed clear microwear patterns were analysed by secondary electrons of
a scanning electron microscope. Subsequently, results were compared with published datasets acquired from studies
of various modern hunter-gatherers, pastoral, and agricultural populations with different dietary habits (Lalueza et al.
1996). By comparing adult males and females (n = 33) within the Vedrovice sample including two cemeteries and
settlement, no sex related differences were observed in dental microwear pattern, which is contrary to a previously
published paper on a sample of 18 individuals buried at Vedrovice - Široká u lesa cemetery (Jarošová 2008), where
a statistically significant sex related difference was observed, with a higher vegetal intake for females than males
inferred. Similarly, no sex related differences between adults were observed within the Nitra population (n = 31).However, an age-related variability was observed between adults and subadults within both studied samples with more
obvious differences in the Vedrovice sample, which may have resulted from different ratios of meat and vegetable intake.
Adults from Nitra had a distinct microwear pattern to adults from Vedrovice.
In another group of analysed individuals from Vedrovice and Nitra - Horné Krškany, slightly different results were
observed in the published stable isotopic data: carbon and nitrogen isotopic data, as a long-term indicator of diet,
proved no statistical difference between the diet of subadults and adults within both studied samples and no difference
between diet of adult males and females in Nitra site. On the contrary, statistically significant differences were observed
between adult males and females in Vedrovice in terms of nitrogen data indicating a higher protein based diet in
males. The subject of this article is a detailed analysis of the two populations using different groups of individuals and
methodologies; as wells as a comparison of selected individuals for which both types of analyses were conducted to
elucidate the dietary habits of the two biggest LBK populations in Czech Republic and Slovakia.|
|Microwear – Diet – SEM – Linearbandkeramik (LBK) – Vedrovice – Czech Republic – Nitra - Horné
Krškany – Slovakia – Isotopic analysis|