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Ancient Teeth Reveal True Diets of 8,600 Year Old Communities

August 30, 2016
by Erica Tennenhouse, The Science Explorer

Thanks to nine ancient men and women with poor oral hygiene, researchers have determined that foragers in the Balkans 8,600 years ago were cheating on their wild diets by supplementing them with domesticated cereals.

A look at the starch remains entrapped in the calcified dental plaque of human teeth gathered from a dig site in the central Balkans suggest that wheat and barley reached these foragers at least four centuries earlier than previously thought.

“The deposition of mineralised plaque ends with the death of the individual,” explains Emanuela Cristiani from The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, in a press release. That means ancient dental plaque seals a record of dietary preferences during given periods in human history.

To view the full story, please visit: http://thescienceexplorer.com/humanity/dirty-teeth-reveal-surprising-snacks-ancient-foragers-balkans

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