Asian Journal of Paleopathology Vol.1, 19–29, 2017
Received: January 24, 2017
Accepted: February 2, 2017
DOI: 10.32247/ajp2017.1.3

Original Article
Dental caries prevalence in Xiongnu population from Mongolia: Age, sex, and regional variation

Erdene Myagmar

 In the present study cranial series from Xiongnu period (2nd BC to 2nd AD) curated at the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, National University of Mongolia, was investigated. In total, 104 skulls (60 males, 34 females and 10 subadults) with 1394 teeth are examined for the dental caries. Dental caries prevalence in the Xiongnu nomadic population (2nd BC to 2nd AD) from Mongolia is found higher than that in the preceding Bronze and Early Iron ages of Mongolia and in other pastoral populations from South Siberia and Baikal. Increase in the caries prevalence indicates change in the dietary pattern in the Xiongnu population from that of the preceding historical periods with higher consumption of carbohydrates in their food. The population inhabited the territory of modern day central and northern Mongolia found been consumed much more cariogenic food than those in other regions of the country during that time. Although the general prevalence of the dental caries of the Xiongnu is comparable with that of the Japan, Korea and some populations from Altai, it was much milder and slower in the progress. The position of the caries decay on the teeth suggests that caries in the Xiongnu people was secondary to periodontitis caused by dental calculus. Results of our research suggests about the equal social access to food resources of men and women in the Xiongnu society.

Key words
Dental caries, paleopathology, Xiongnu, ancient nomads, Mongolia