Acta Anthropologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (01): 98-109.doi: 10.16359/j.1000-3193/AAS.2022.0053

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Oral health of prehistoric inhabitants from the Ganzao site, Guangxi

CHEN Xiaoying1,2(), YOU Haijie3(), SONG Meiling3, GUO Mingxiao3, XIAO Yuni4, ZENG Wen3   

  1. 1. School of History of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430064
    2. Guangxi Institute of Cultural Relic Protection and Archaeology, Nanning 530003
    3. Institute of Cultural Heritage, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237
    4. Shandong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Jinan 250012
  • Received:2022-02-22 Revised:2022-07-31 Online:2023-02-15 Published:2023-02-20


The Ganzao site, located in Fusui of Guangxi Province, is an important Neolithic shell midden along in the Zuojiang River. A wealth of remains and relics including tombs were found here. A total of 999 permanent teeth belonging to 108 individuals were unearthed in 2014 that were used to assess the oral health status of the site residents in this paper. The results of the statistical analysis shows that: 1) Individual caries rate was 31.88%, with caries rate of teeth at 4.70%. There were 5.28% of caries in the 360 pieces of maxillary teeth, and 4.38% caries in the 639 mandibular teeth. Molars were most susceptible to caries, then premolars. With increasing age, incidence and degree of caries increased. There were no significant differences in the incidence of caries between males and females. Caries rate of the Ganzao site inhabitants was close to that of agricultural populations, but lower than that of people from the Liyudun, Zengpiyan, and Dingsishan sites. All four sites utilize a fishing-gathering economy. In this paper, it is suggested that the higher caries rate of Zengpiyan and Dingsishan site inhabitants may be related to consumption of tubers, and complications from the small sample size of the Liyudun and Zengpiyan sites. 2) The incidence of dental calculus is very high, with an individual incidence rate of 89.86%, which increases with age. Incidence of calculus in lower teeth is higher than in upper. Incidence of buccal to lingual side is roughly comparable. 3) The average wear grade of teeth is 5.07, and the degree of tooth wear gradually deepens with age. Average wear level of teeth in females (considering different teeth positions) is higher than that of males, which may be due to the fact that in this sample females are generally older. Compared to residents with different economies, tooth wear of the Ganzao site inhabitants were more severe, possibly related to the consumption of snails and shellfish with their high sand content.

Key words: Biological anthropology, Dentition, Caries, Tooth Wear

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