Quantifying prehistoric physiological stress using the TCA method:
Preliminary results from the Central Balkans
Keywords:Mesolithic, Neolithic, Central Balkans, stress-layers, tooth cementum annulation (TCA)
The Neolithic way of life was accompanied by an increase in various forms of physiological stress (e.g. disease, malnutrition). Here we use the method of tooth cementum annulation (TCA) analysis in order to detect physiological stress that is probably related to calcium metabolism. The TCA method is applied to a sample of teeth from three Mesolithic and five Neolithic individuals from the Central Balkans. The average number of physiological stress episodes is higher in the Neolithic group – but the statistical significance of this result cannot be evaluated due to the small sample size, therefore these results should be taken as preliminary.
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