Dental disease reflects differential diets and changes in consumption over time at Knossos

Anna C. Moles*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Knossos was an important city on Crete and within Mediterranean networks during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Antique periods. However, there were significant social, cultural, and economic shifts that appear to have caused changes to daily lifeways, including diet. This paper sets out to explore dietary changes across these time periods by looking at dental caries, with reference also to antemortem tooth loss, calculus, and stable isotope data. This study also looks to contextualize these results using archaeological and textual information relating to diet. It presents a thorough methodological approach to the investigation and interpretation of caries and discusses some of the shortcomings of using a fragmentary and commingled skeletal assemblage. The Roman diet was more cariogenic than in the Hellenistic or Late Antique periods. The caries-zone analysis of the teeth suggests that there may have been a greater addition of sugars to the diet in the Roman period, though the increased caries could also be due to improved preparation techniques and technologies producing a more refined and sticky carbohydrate diet. Such changes could be due to either increased connectivity making certain foods more readily available, the cultural changes in food consumption or dental hygiene due to the influx of merchants, colonists, migrants, and other newcomers to the Colonia Iulia Nobilis Cnosus that was Roman Knossos, or increased prosperity at the site in this period. There was a significant difference detected between females and males for caries indicating differential dietary practices between the sexes, which was most notable for the Roman period.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)207-220
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
Vroegere onlinedatum28-dec.-2022
StatusPublished - mrt.-2023

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