A comparison of archaic and Mississippian subsistence strategies utilizing dental microwear texture analysis
Henson, Tracie L.
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Throughout the past, bioarchaeologists have been concerned with identifying subsistence strategies of past populations and when subsistence strategies have transitioned from foraging to agriculture practices. Specifically, one area of major concentration has been examining the transition from foraging to agriculture in the southeast of the present day United States. The present study examines the transition of subsistence practices in prehistoric Tennessee utilizing dental microwear texture analysis. This study examined a total of 49 individuals from Archaic and Mississippian sites. These were compared temporally by comparing Archaic microwear signatures to Mississippian microwear signatures, and geographically, through the comparison of each site in relation to its geographic location. Non-parametric Mann-Whitney U tests were utilized to determine if statistical significant differences existed between the Archaic and Mississippian groups analyzed, and to determine if statistical significant differences existed based on geographic location. Due to the small sample size utilized in the study, it must be stated that the results are preliminary and further testing using dental microwear texture analysis needs to be undertaken in order to better understand the results.
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