Programmes > Par auteur > Hernando Raquel

Two methodologies to infer the diet: The case of Cova de La Guineu (Font-Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)
Raquel Hernando  1, 2, *@  , Juan Ignacio Morales  3@  , Artur Cebrià  3@  , Xavier Oms  3@  , Marina Lozano  1, 2@  
1 : Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social  (IPHES)  -  Site web
Zona Educacional 4 - Campus Sescelades URV (Edifici W3), Tarragona -  Espagne
2 : Universitat Rovira i Virgili  -  Site web
43007 Tarragona -  Espagne
3 : Universitat de Barcelona  (UB)  -  Site web
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585, 08007 Barcelona -  Espagne
* : Auteur correspondant

Dental microwear is a widely used technique to infer the diet of our ancestors. This method allows us to determine not only the physical properties of the food such as hardness and abrasiveness, but also to show how food was processed before being consumed (Grine, 1986).

This technique is applied, in both buccal and occlusal dental surface, by means of the Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM). While the occlusal surface shows the diet of the last weeks of the individual's life (Grine, 1986; Jarosová, 2008), the buccal surface provides information about the long-term diet of an individual, as it has slower turnover than in the occlusal surface (Pérez- Pérez et al., 1994; Romero et al., 2007, 2012).

Microwear studies have employed either buccal or occlusal surface, however there are no extensive studies that have compared the information obtained by both surfaces in the same population (García-González et al., 2015).

Our aim is to study the use of both methodologies in the same population to compare the microwear pattern in the two surfaces, and test if the characteristics of the diet inferred depend on the surface observed. With that, we intend to deepen in the different dental microwear techniques, to have a comprehensive reconstruction of the diet of a population studying.

A sample consisting of 27 deciduous molars from the Late Neolithic (4500 ± 40 BP) burial place La Cova de la Guineu (Font-Rubí, Alt Penedès, Barcelona) (Morales et al., 2013) was chosen to carry out this study. We also proposed future work on the use of new technologies such as the Confocal Electron Microscope to fully understand how several dental microwear methodologies infer dietary patterns in the same population.


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