Chapter

Buccal Dental Microwear as an Indicator of Dietary Habits of The Natufian People of El-Wad and El-Kebarah

Mohammad Alrousan and Alejandro Pérez-Pérez

in Bioarchaeology and Behavior

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780813042299
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043449 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813042299.003.0008
Buccal Dental Microwear as an Indicator of Dietary Habits of The Natufian People of El-Wad and El-Kebarah

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The dietary adaptations and subsistence economy of the Natufian people from the archaeological sites of El Wad and Kebara were reconstructed by using buccal microwear analyses. Eighteen post canine teeth, representing eighteen individuals, were examined under the scanning electron microscope (SEM). A total of 15 microwear variables were derived and analyzed using SPSS v. 15. The results indicated that although there is no statistical significant variation in the overall buccal microwear between the two sites, the NH/NV microwear index indicated that the Kebarans are more closely related to hunter-gatherer comparative samples, whereas El-Wad has an index value closer to that of agricultural populations. The results obtained support the usefulness of the buccal microwear research as a new method of dietary reconstruction and subsistence economy adaptation. In addition, buccal microwear allowed for a detailed intra- and inter-population variability analyses, which showed that both groups have a homogeneous pattern of buccal microwear, suggesting that their dietary habits were maintained unchanged throughout the whole Natufian period.

Keywords: Levant; Natufian; Dental microwear; Diet; Agricultural transition

Chapter.  4941 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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