Source: New York Times
Title: Old Teeth Tell New Stories About People Who Didn’t Get Enough Sun
Author: Joanna Klein
Archaeologists have found that old teeth of people that have lived hundreds of years ago tell a story as well. They are basically a permanent record of vitamin D deficiency. This can show us challenges that the people who lived back then may have faced. This also shows archaeologists what kinds of environmental conditions these individuals have lived in and what food they would have been eating due to availability. Teeth are also a great way to determine what diseases the individuals may have been dealing with. For example, anthropologists have identified rickets (a disease due to lack of sunlight). Understanding rickets in the past is now able to help aid the study of the health of children today.
This relates to what we have been doing this week in anthropology because we now know we can use teeth to learn more about how the individuals led their daily lives in the past and how they lived their lives. Also we are able to use what we learned from remains from the past in order to help the future. Just like in the lectures, we asked the question “what did they eat?”. Here, we can eliminate foods by seeing if they have a deficiency or not just by looking at the teeth.