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Crown dimensions of deciduous teeth of prehistoric and living populations of Western India.

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 61:383-387 (1983)
Crown Dimensions of Deciduous Teeth of Prehistoric and
Living Populations of Western India
J O H N R. LUKACS, M.R. JOSHI, AND P.G. MAKHIJA
Department of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403
(J.R.L.) and Department of Orthodontics, Government Dental College and
Hospital, Ahmedabad, 380 016, India (M.R.J., P.G.M.)
KEY WORDS
dia, Pakistan
Deciduous teeth, Crown size, Prehistoric, Living, In-
ABSTRACT
Deciduous tooth crown dimensions are poorly known for the
people of South Asia. This contribution describes dental crown dimensions of two
prehistoric and one living population from the northwestern region of the subcontinent.
Mesiodistal and buccolingual crown diameters and cross-sectional crown areas are reported for the prehistoric inhabitants of Inamgaon (1600-700
B.c.)
in western
Maharashtra, India, and Timargarha (1400-850
B.c.) in Dir-State, northwest Pakistan. Crown
diameters and cross-sectional areas are also
reported, independently by sex, for a living
group of Gujarati schoolchildren from Ahmedabad. While crown diameters and cross-sectional areas for the Timargarha and Gujarat
samples are very similar, figures for the Inamgaon sample are consistently larger than
either the Timargarha or the Gujarat samples.
These differences in tooth crown size are interpreted in the context of Brace’s dental reduction model. Differences in level of technology, diet, and subsistence select for different
optimal tooth sizes and may explain differences in tooth size reported here for deciduous
teeth from South Asia.
Anthropological studies of dental crown
morphology and tooth size in South Asia have
focused almost exclusively on permanent teeth
of living and prehistoric populations (Lukacs,
nd). The only descriptions of deciduous dental
variation in South Asia include a n analysis of
morphological features of the dentition of living Jats of northern India (Kaul and Prakash,
1981) and a comparative study of crown dimensions of the prehistoric inhabitants of Inamgaon, an early farming village in western
India (Lukacs, 1981). The need for more extensive descriptive and comparative studies of
deciduous dental variation in South Asia is
obvious.
0 1983 ALAN R. LISS, INC.
This paper reports dental crown dimensions
and selected indices for one living and two prehistoric populations in South Asia. Archaeological excavations at Inamgaon have been
conducted annually since 1968 by Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute
(Pune; India). These excavations are now complete and during the 1981-1982 academic year
morphological, metrical, and pathological
studies of the entire deciduous dental sample
( n = 733) were conducted. The Inamgaon data
are compared with dental crown data from an
Iron Age archaeological site in northern Pakistan known as Timargarha. Both prehistoric
dental samples are compared with dental crown
data for living Gujarati Hindu children from
western India (Ahmedabad, Gujarat). The dental dimensions and indices for this living Gujarati sample are reported here for the first
time. Dental arch dimensions, dental crowding, and size and location of diastemata are
reported in detail for the Gujarati sample by
Makhija (1981).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The Inamgaon skeletal sample includes
fragmentary maxillae and mandibulae and their
associated dental elements, but many isolated
teeth are also present in this sample. Specimens were derived from single or twin-urn
burials located beneath the house floors, rather
than in a cemetery. Three cultural phases are
recognized at Inamgaon: Malwa (1600-1400
B.c.); Early Jorwe (1400-1200 B.c.) and Late
Received January 10, 1983;accepted March 25, 1983
384
J.R. LUKACS, M.R. JOSHI. AND P.G. MAKHIJA
Jorwe (1200-700 B.c.). These are distinguished TABLE 1 . Crown diameters of deciduous teeth of Gujarati
Hindus from Western India
by house shape, pottery design and fabric, and
evidence of external cultural influences (DhavSexes pooled
Female
Male
alikar, 1979; Sankalia et al., 1973, 1975). A
t
SD
x
SD
jr
SD
total of 69 specimens from all three cultural
phases preserved deciduous dental elements; Mesiodistal
their distribution is Malwa (n = 3,4.4%),Early Maxilla
0.42
il
6.73
0.35 6.52 0.42 6.61
Jonve (n = 23,33.3%),and Late Jonve (n = 43,
0.34
5.50
0.35 5.31 0.36 5.39
i2
62.3%).Since the dentition of most specimens
0.37
6.82
0.32 6.53 0.40 6.70
C
0.45
ml
7.44 0.43 7.12 0.40 7.31
was incomplete, samples from all three cul0.51
9.21 0.55 9.08 0.58 9.18
m2
tural phases were pooled for statistical treatment. Approximately 96% of the Inamgaon Mandible
0.23
il
4.18
0.34 4.05 0.22 4.10
specimens are derived from Jorwe levels (early
0.30
i2
4.76
0.31 4.66 0.33 4.72
0.30
5.91
0.32 5.77 0.28 5.84
C
and late) which are roughly synchronic with
0.48
8.15 0.38 7.78 0.40 7.99
ml
the Timargarha sample.
10.24 0.61 9.91 0.45 10.10 0.51
m2
The Timargarha cemetery has an estimated Buccolingual
antiquity (1400-850 B.c.) similar to that of In- Maxilla
0.34
5.25
0.31 5.04 0.30 5.16
il
amgaon and is associated with the “Gandhara
0.39
4.94
0.34 4.71 0.33 4.83
i2
Grave Culture” of northern Pakistan (Bern0.48
6.19
0.47 5.96 0.50 6.06
C
hard, 1967; Dani, 1966, 1967, 1980). The Ti0.54
ml
9.07
0.57 8.76 0.54 8.81
margarha skeletal series is currently on loan
0.57
m2
10.15 0.59 9.75 0.50 9.91
to Dr. Wolfram Bernhard (Anthropologisches Mandible
il
0.29
3.88 0.25 3.87 0.25 3.87
Institiit, Universitat Mainz) by the Archaeol4.35 0.29 4.21 0.34 4.31
0.32
i2
ogy Department of the Government of Paki0.39
C
5.64 0.39 5.38 0.40 5.51
stan.
0.53
7.51
0.57 7.27 0.43 7.47
ml
0.56
9.32
0.61 8.87 0.48 9.11
m2
Measurements of the dental crowns for both
prehistoric samples were made by Lukacs according to the standardized methods described
by Moorrees (1957) and Wolpoff (1971). Unworn and undamaged dental crowns were mea- pooled, to enhance comparison with crown disured with a Helios needle-point dial caliper, ameters for the prehistoric samples described
calibrated to 0.05 mm. Measurements were re- below. Males exhibit consistently larger crown
peatedly made until a consistent reading was diameters than females. These differences are
attained; figures were rounded to the nearest uniformly significant a t the .05 level, except
0.1 mm.
for the buccolingual diameter of the mandiData for the Gujarati sample is derived from bular central incisor, which is not significantly
plaster casts of 50 male and 50 female Hindu different between sexes. The MD diameter of
schoolchildren from Ahmedabad. Stone plaster the maxillary canine shows greater differences
dental casts were made from alginate impres- between the sexes than the mandibular canine.
sions of children with normal occlusion beCrown diameters of deciduous teeth from
tween the ages of 3 and 64 years. Individual prehistoric sites in western India (Inamgaon)
crown dimensions were measured according to and northern Pakistan (Timargarha) are prethe method of Moorrees (1957), with a vernier sented in Table 2. Since sex is indeterminate
caliper. Each measurement was rounded to the in the skeletal remains of children, these data
nearest 0.1 mm and the average of three re- are based on samples that include both sexes.
peated measurements was recorded (Makhija, There are no consistent differences in crown
1981). All figures reported below are based on diameter between the Inamgaon and Timarmeasurements of the left side of the dental ar- garha samples. However, when differences becade.
tween these samples attain a conventional level
of significance, the Inamgaon sample always
RESULTS
exhibits larger crown diameters than the TiMesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) di- margarha sample.
ameters of the deciduous dental crowns of GuIf crown diameters of the Gujarati sample
jarati Hindu children are presented in Table (sexes pooled) are compared with the Inam1. These results are presented independently gaon and Timargarha samples several obserby sex, for males and females; but they are also vations are noteworthy. The Inamgaon teeth
presented for the entire sample, with sexes are consistently larger in both MD and BL di-
385
DECIDUOUS TOOTH SIZE IN WESTERN INDIA
TABLE 2. Crown diameters of deciduous teeth from prehistoric Inampaon (India) and Timarparha (Pakistani
Mesiodistal
Buccolingual
Inamgaon
Maxilla
il
i2
e
ml
m2
Mandible
il
i2
C
ml
m2
=
Timargarha
Timargarha
X
(n)
SD
x
4)
6)
9)
8)
8)
0.29
0.52
0.53
0.59
0.35
5.30
5.04
5.94
9.00
10.04
(19)
(33)
(32)
0.33
0.38
0.47
0.59
0.66
5.18
4.89
5.83
9.09
9.81
(
(
(
(
(
4)
3)
7)
(13)
(14)
0.42
0.38
0.29
0.36
0.40
4.10
4.44
5.43
7.40
9.14
(21)
(22)
(22)
(36)
(39)
0.29*
0.28
0.45
0.57*
0.56
3.75
4.40
5.47
7.02
8.92
(
(
(
(n)
SD
6.81
5.51
6.76
7.43
9.45
(19)
(21)
(28)
(33)
(34)
0.42
0.44
0.43
0.44
0.57*
6.60
5.38
6.84
7.58
8.98
(
(
(
(
(
4.34
4.91
5.84
8.40
10.59
(20)
(22)
(27)
(36)
139)
0.24**
0.36
0.33
0.58
0.50**
3.95
4.67
5.99
8.27
10.13
(
(
(
X
Inamgaon
SD
X
(n)
(20)
(28)
(n)
SD
4)
7)
9)
8)
9)
0.30
0.25
0.39
0.34
0.45
4)
3)
6)
(13)
(13)
0.35
0.36
0.37
0.48
0.42
0.05 significance level.
=* - 0.01 significance level
mensions than the teeth of living Gujarati children; however, many of these differences are
not statistically significant. A much greater
similarity in crown dimensions is observed between the Gujarati sample and Iron Age sample from Timargarha.
A most useful measure for comparative evaluation of differences in tooth crown size is the
sum of cross-sectional areas of individual teeth.
The cross-sectional area (crown area, robustness value) of a particular tooth is obtained by
multiplying MD diameter by BL diameter. The
sum of cross-section areas of all teeth (upper
and lower) from one side of the dental arcade
yields a figure (in mm2) that provides a convenient index for comparative studies of crown
size. Devised by Brace (19621, this method has
subsequently been successfully employed in the
study of Australian aboriginal migrations
(Brace, 1980) and in the analysis of biological
and cultural mixing in the South Pacific (Brace
and Hinton, 1981).
Cross-sectional crown areas for deciduous
teeth from prehistoric and living samples of
western India and northern Pakistan are presented in Table 3. A “sexes pooled” column
computed from the entire Gujarati sample is
included to enhance comparison of living and
prehistoric samples. Cross-sectional areas for
individual teeth are summed for maxillary and
mandibular arcades and a total crown area figure is also presented for each sample.
Close inspection of Table 3 reveals several
important points. In the Gujarati Hindu sample figures for cross-sectional crown area are
consistently greater in males than females. This
results in a cumulative difference of 34.47 mm2
between the male (493.61 mm2) and female
(459.14mm2)total cross-sectional crown areas.
Comparisons between the two prehistoric dental samples indicate that the Inamgaon sample
more frequently exhibits greater cross-sectional crown areas than the Timargarha sample. Though most of these differences are nonsignificant,in cases where significantdifferences
occur (mandibular canine, first and second molar) the Inamgaon sample is larger. The difference in total crown area between Inamgaon
and Timargarha is 23.84 mm2,a figure smaller
than that separating the male and female components of the Gujarati sample.
A comparison of the Gujarati “sexes pooled”
data with prehistoric samples emphasizes the
close similarity in tooth crown size between
Timargarha and living Gujaratis. The dental
sample from Inamgaon, however, exhibits
greater crown areas than the Gujarati sample
for all teeth but the upper and lower canines.
In both instances Gujarati canine teeth are
only slightly larger (maxillarycanine, 0.46 mm2;
mandibular canine, 0.62 mm2) than the Inamgaon canines and the differences are nonsignificant. Differences in crown area for other
teeth range from 1.49 mm2 (lower lateral incisor) to 6.21 mm2 (lower second molar) and
average 2.85 mm2, with Inamgaon always exhibiting larger teeth. The total crown area for
Inamgaon (497.91 mm2)exceeds that reported
for the “sexes pooled” column of the Gujarati
sample (476.08 mm2)by 21.83 mm2.
386
J.R. LUKACS, M.R. JOSHI, AND P.G. MAKHIJA
TABLE 3 . Crown areas for deciduous teeth ofprehistoric and living South Asians fin mm'i
Prehistoric samples
Inamgaon
Living samples
Timargarha
Gujarati Hindus
(n
x
Maxilla
il
i2
C
ml
m2
Maxillary
crown area
Mandible
il
i2
C
ml
m2
Mandibular
crown area
Total
Crown Area
36.13
27.99
40.26
67.68
95.13
(
n)
(19)
(20)
(27)
(32)
(32)
=
50)
Female (n
=
50)
SD
n)
SD
3
SD
x
SD
x
SD
3.89
3.64
5.45
5.89
11.00
34.21
26.45
40.06
68.95
87.86
(
(
4)
6)
9)
8)
8)
3.39
3.66
5.37
7.41
5.74
34.20
26.11
40.72
64.57
91.15
3.93
3.35
4.89
7.11
9.69
35.57
27.16
42.38
67.75
94.12
3.46
3.28
4.28
7.17
9.71
32.93
25.08
39.22
62.36
88.77
3.58
2.91
4.97
6.06
9.45
(
(
(
257.53
(20)
(22)
(22)
(36)
(36)
Male (n
100)
(
267.19
17.74
21.81
31.62
62.21
97.34
=
2
1.90
2.62
3.83
6.37
10.16
14.88
20.61
32.51
58.10
90.44
256.75
4)
6)
9)
(13)
(13)
(
(
(
2.67
3.20
3.62
5.95
7.36
15.84
20.32
32.24
59.80
91.13
266.98
1.81
2.41
3.52
6.96
9.59
16.02
20.64
33.38
60.99
95.60
248.36
1.63
2.25
3.59
6.99
10.73
15.46
19.68
31.06
56.60
87.98
230.72
216.54
219.33
226.63
210.78
497.91
474.07
476.08
493.61
459.14
DISCUSSION
These data provide valuable information regarding the tooth crown dimensions of prehistoric and living populations of South Asia. Their
greatest value is as a source for the comparison
and interpretation of new data generated by
future studies of deciduous tooth crown size in
South Asia. Since the data presented here are
preliminary and the number of samples few,
it is unwise to engage in detailed evolutionary
interpretations. However, the idea that tooth
crown size is correlated with level of technological development, food preparation techniques, and diet is a provoking one (Brace 1978;
Brace and Mahler, 1971) and it may partially
explain some of the tooth size variations reported here.
The early farming people of Inamgaon exhibit larger deciduous teeth than either Iron
Age (Timargarha) or modern (Gujarati Hindu)
people of South Asia. It is possible that differences in technology, diet, and subsistence account for the difference in tooth size. The occupants of Inamgaon employed stone and copper
tools and engaged in hunting to supplement
their basically agricultural subsistence. Agriculture has a much longer history in and near
the Indus Valley and may partially account for
the smaller teeth of the people from Timargarha and Gujarat. Artifactual remains are not
abundant a t the cemetery site of Timargarha;
1.89
2.58
3.37
5.24
7.89
consequently independent archaeological evidence of subsistence and diet for this sample
is unavailable. Though at present this explanation is a plausible one, the evolutionary significance of differences in crown area will only
become clear when data are gathered from many
living and prehistoric people of widely varying
technological abilities and dietary preferences.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors thank officials of the collaborating institutions (Deccan College, Pune;
Government Dental College and Hospital, Ahmedabad; University of Oregon, Eugene) for
their cooperation in providing facilities and
leaves of absence to conduct this research. Special thanks is due Dr. S. B. Deo, Director (Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute) for permission to study the human
skeletal series from Inamgaon, and for his continued encouragement.
Data collection and analysis was conducted
in India and was funded in part by research
grants to the senior author (J.R.L.) from the
American Institute of Indian Studies (NSF, INT8106982-A011 and the Smithsonian Institution
(grant No. 1083700).
We thank Dr. Karen Hbjgaard, Dr. Kenneth
A. R. Kennedy, and the reviewers for reading
the manuscript and providing useful comments.
DECIDUOUS TOOTH SIZE IN WESTERN INDIA
LITERATURE CITED
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Brace, CL (1962) Cultural factors in the evolution of the
human dentition. In MF Ashley-Montagu (ed): Culture
and the Evolution of Man. New York: Oxford University
Press, pp. 343-354.
Brace, CL (1978) Tooth reduction in the Orient. Asian Perspectives 19:203-219.
Brace, CL (1980) Australian tooth-size clines and the death
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Brace, CL, and Hinton, RJ (1981) Oceanic tooth-size variation as a reflection of biological and cultural mixing.
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Brace, CL and Mahler, PE (1971) Post-Pleistocene changes
in the human dentition. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.
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chaeol. Ser. No. 9. Manoa: University of Hawaii Press,
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