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Sex-related morbidity and mortality in non-adult individuals from the Early Medieval site of Valdaro (Italy): The contribution of dental enamel peptide analysis

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Benazzi,  Stefano
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Lugli, F., Figus, C., Silvestrini, S., Costa, V., Bortolini, E., Conti, S., et al. (2020). Sex-related morbidity and mortality in non-adult individuals from the Early Medieval site of Valdaro (Italy): The contribution of dental enamel peptide analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 34(A): 102625. doi:10.1016/j.jasrep.2020.102625.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-E3AA-9
Abstract
In this work, osteological and paleopathological analyses are combined with liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry to study life and death of 30 non-adult individuals from an Early Medieval Italian funerary context (Valdaro, 7th-8th cent. AD). We estimated individual sex by exploiting sexual differences in enamel-bounded peptides. Enamel proteins were extracted through an acid etching of the whole tooth crowns for 4 samples and through a partial digestion of small enamel chunks for the remaining 26 samples. Both protocols were informative on the sex of the individuals through the identification of amelogenin isoforms (AMELX and AMELY). In addition, low-mineralized tooth germs were analysed and they provided reliable information on the infants’ sex. We observed the presence of 13 males and 17 females among the non-adults of Valdaro, not significantly different from a random sample with an equal frequency of males and females. Cribra cranii and endocranial lesion occurrence showed an association with sex, with higher frequencies in male individuals.