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Enamel hypoplasia in modern and archaeological caprine populations:\ud The development and application of a new methodological approach\ud



Archaeological research into domestic animals has demonstrated that enamel hypoplasia is a potentially valuable tool for investigating a range of archaeological topics including domestication and animal management strategies. However, research into archaeological domestic populations has been hindered by the difficulty of recording and interpreting enamel hypoplasia in high-crowned species such as caprines and cattle. \ud This research develops a methodological approach for recording enamel hypoplasia in high-crowned species which is applied to modern and archaeological caprine populations from three geographically distinct regions (Orkney, Kenya and Iceland). Modern caprines with known life histories are used to investigate baseline factors such as the impact of the environment and nutrition on the frequency and severity of enamel hypoplasia in caprines. These baselines are then used to interpret enamel hypoplasia in archaeological populations.\ud Results indicate that enamel hypoplasia frequency and severity can be linked to variation in the climate /environment as well as nutrition levels in caprine populations. By comparing enamel hypoplasia frequency and severity between populations with similar baseline factors, variation in animal management strategies can be identified. Physiological and seasonal stress events including birth, weaning, and seasonal periods of malnutrition are also identified using enamel hypoplasia in both modern and archaeological populations.\u

Year: 2009
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Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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