1. bookVolume 84 (2021): Issue 1 (March 2021)
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
access type Open Access

Dental health indicators of the Chernyakhov population from Shyshaki (Ukraine)

Published Online: 18 Mar 2021
Page range: 17 - 28
Received: 15 Sep 2020
Accepted: 28 Jan 2021
Journal Details
First Published
24 Jan 2008
Publication timeframe
4 times per year

Odontological studies of ancient populations represent different indicators related to health state, lifestyle and human diet. The aim of this paper is to determine the dental health indicators in the Chernyakhov population (the end of the IVth c. AD) from Ukraine. The paper also attempts to identify the relationship between sex and these indicators in the studied population. The sample analysed consisted of the dental remains of 25 adult individuals (11 males and 14 females) and 8 children individuals excavated from the cemetery at the archaeological site of Shyshaki (Poltava region of Ukraine). A total of 760 teeth were examined for caries, tooth wear and calculus clinically, and 647 teeth of adults were observed radio-graphically. The studied population presents frequency of caries in individuals of 12.5%. This indicator in adult male and female dentition is 42.86% and 14.0% respectively, and 25% in children. The presented population frequency of caries teeth was 0.88%. Females presented higher caries rate than males (2.72 % females vs. 0.36 % males) (p<0.05). The most frequent were caries lesions of cementum-enamel junction (40%) and combined lesions of crown and root (40%) with no difference in terms of sex. Frequency of dental wear in adult individuals and 8-10 year-old individuals was 100%. The studied population represented TWI (tooth wear index) in adults (2.26), which increased with aging, but the difference in terms of sex is insignificant. Calculus was observed in 64.28% of the females and 63.33% of the males, showing no statistical difference (p>0.5). These findings confirm a very low rate of caries teeth in the territory of Shyshaki during the Late Roman period, which could be related to regional diet and concentration of fluorine in drinking water. The Chernyakhov population presents high dental wear and similar frequency of dental calculus when compared to the population from Roman Britain. Females presented significantly higher frequency of caries than males, whereas no significant sex differences were found regarding dental wear, calculus, and localisation of caries lesions. The authors presume that dental health indicators in the Chernyakhov culture need to be studied more with bigger sample size and data of the populations from other regions of Ukraine.


Agarwal SC, Beauchesne P, Glencross B, Larsen KP, Meskell L, Nacamura C, et al. 2015. Chapter 7. Roles for the sexes. The (Bio) archaeology of women and men at Çatalhöyük. In: I Hodder and A Marciniak, editors. Assembling of Çatalhöyük. Leeds: Maney. 87–95.Search in Google Scholar

Arnold, W.H., Naumova, E.A., Koloda, V.V., Gaengler, P. 2007. Tooth wear in two ancient populations of the Khazar Kaganat region in the Ukraine. Int J Osteoarchaeol, 17:52–62.Search in Google Scholar

Bonsall L. 2014. A comparison of female and male oral health in skeletal populations from late Roman Britain: implications for diet. Arch Oral Biol 59:1279–300.Search in Google Scholar

Britton K, Huntley J. 2011. New evidence for the consumption of barley at Romano-British military and civilian sites, from the analysis of cereal bran fragments in faecal material. Veget Hist Archaeobot 20:41–52.Search in Google Scholar

Buikstra JE, Ubelaker D. 1994. Standards for data collection from human skeletal remains, Arkansas. Archaeological Survey Research Series No 44. Arkansas: Fayetteville.Search in Google Scholar

Byers SN. 2005. Introduction to forensic Anthropology: A Textbook. London: Pearson.Search in Google Scholar

Dotsika E, Michael DE, Iliadis E, Karalis P, Diamantopoulos G. 2018. Isotopic reconstruction of diet in Medieval Thebes (Greece). J Archaeol Sci: Reports 22:482–91.Search in Google Scholar

Drinking water quality information. Available at: http://waterquality.anglianwater.com/map.aspx.Search in Google Scholar

Esclassan R, Grimoud AM, Ruas MP, Donat R, Sevin A, Astie F, et al. 2009. Dental caries, tooth wear and diet in an adult medieval (12th–14th century) population from mediterranean France. Arch Oral Biol 54:287–97.Search in Google Scholar

Fejerskov O, Nyvad B, Kidd EAM. 2008. Dental caries. The disease and its clinical Management. 3ed. Wiley-Blackwell.Search in Google Scholar

Forshaw R. 2014. Dental indicators of ancient dietary patterns: dental analysis in archaeology. Br Dent J 216:529–35.Search in Google Scholar

Gorbanenko SA. 2014. Paleoetnobotanichni dani z poselennya chernyaxivs`koyi kul`tury` pobly`zu s. Komariv (za rezul`tatamy` flotaciyi) [Palaeoethnobotanical data from Cherniakhiv culture’s settlement near the village Komariv (based on flotation)]. Arheologichni doslidzhennya L`vivs`kogo universy`tetu [Archeological studies of Lviv university] 18:261–72.Search in Google Scholar

Gwinn DM. 2017. The Goths. Lost Civilizations. Reaktion books.Search in Google Scholar

Heiko A.V. 2010. Rozkopki mogilnika chernyahivskoyi kulturi Shishaki u 2009 r. Arkheolohiya i davnya istoriya Ukrayiny [Archaeology and ancient history of Ukraine] 4:222–5.Search in Google Scholar

Hillson SW, Larsen CS, Boz B, Pilloud MA, Sadvari JW, Agarwal. SC., et al. 2013. Chapter: 17. The human remains I: Interpreting community structure, health and diet in Neolithic Çatalhöyük. In: Ian Hodder, editor. Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: Reports from the 2000–2008 Seasons. Cotsen Institute of Archaeology/British Institute at Ankara. 339–96.Search in Google Scholar

Humphrey LT, De Groote I, Morale, J, Barton N, Collcutt S, Ramsey CB, et al. 2014. Earliest evidence for caries and exploitation of starchy plant foods in Pleistocene hunter-gatherers from Morocco. PNAS 111:954–59.Search in Google Scholar

Karsten J, Heins, S, Madden G, Sokhatskyi M. 2015. Dental health and the transition to agriculture in prehistoric Ukraine: A study of dental caries. Eur J Archaeol 18:562–79.Search in Google Scholar

Kaskova LF, Levchenko NV, Andriianova OYu, Amosova LI, Morhun NA, Abramova OE, et al. 2011. Epidemiolohichni doslidzhennia – osnova planuvannia zakhodiv profilaktyky stomatolohichnykh zakhvoriuvan u ditei [Epideomiological studies are the base for planning of dental diseases prevention in children]. Ukrainian Dental Almanac 2:25–6.Search in Google Scholar

Kaskova LF, Chupryna LF, Morhun NA, Polesskyi MV, Artemiev AV. 2019. Karies naseleniya rannego zheleznogo veka Poltavskoj i sopredel’nyh oblastej kak otrazhenie social’nyh aspektov byta [Caries of the Early Iron century population of Poltava and correlated areas as reflection aspects of social life]. Ukrainian Dental Almanac 1:31–6.Search in Google Scholar

Klaus HD, Tam ME. 2010. Oral health and the postcontact adaptive transition: A contextual reconstruction of diet in Mórrope, Peru. Am J Phys Anthropol 141:594–609.Search in Google Scholar

Kokowski A. 1997. Die Maslomecz-Gruppe. Ihre Chronologie und Beziehungen innerhalb desgotischen Kulturkreises. Ein Beispiel für den kulturellen Wandel der Goten im Verlaufihres Wanderungen. BRGK 78:642–748.Search in Google Scholar

Kubehl K, Temple DH. 2020. Reproductive life histories influence cariogenesis: Exploring sex-specific variation in dental caries and survivorship in the human past. Am J Phys Anthropol 172:376–85.Search in Google Scholar

Lanfranco LP, Eggers S. 2012. Caries through time: an anthropological overview. In: Ming-Yu Li, editor. Contemporary Approach to Dental Caries. InTech. Available at: www.intechopen.com/books/contemporary-approach-to-dental-caries/caries-archaeolo-gical-andhistorical-record.Search in Google Scholar

Lillie M. 1996. Mesolithic and Neolithic Populations of Ukraine: Indications of Diet From Dental Pathology. Curr Anthropol 37:135–42.Search in Google Scholar

Lyubichev MV. 2019. Rannyaya istoriya dnepro-donetskoy lesostepi I–V vekov [Early history of Dnieper-donetsk forrest-steppe in the I–V centures]. Part 1. Kharkiv: Esthet print.Search in Google Scholar

Magomedov BV. 2001. Chernyahovskaya kultura. Problema etnosa [Chernyakhov culture. Problem of ethnos].. Monumenta Studia Gothica. Lublin: UMCS.Search in Google Scholar

Michael D, Iliadis E, Manolis SK. 2017. Using dental and activity indicators in order to explore possible sex differences in an adult rural medieval population from Thebes (Greece). Anthropol Rev 80:427–47.Search in Google Scholar

Miliauskienė Ž, Jankauskas R. 2015. Social differences in oral health: Dental status of individuals buried in and around Trakai Church in Lithuania (16th–17th c.c.). Anthropol Anz 72:89–106.Search in Google Scholar

Nelson SJ, Ash MMJ. 2009. Wheeler’s Dental Anatomy, Physiology and Occlusion: 9th Revised ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier.Search in Google Scholar

Petrauskas OV. 2014. Razrushennyie pogrebeniya na mogilnikah chernyahovskoy kulturyi Podneprovya – analiz arheologicheskoy strukturyi [Die zerstörten Bestattungen auf den Gräberfelden der Černjachov-Kultur aus dem Dnepr-Gebiet – ein Analyse der archäologischen Strukturen]. In: G. Ivakyn, editor. Vid Venediv do Rusi [From Venedi to Rus]. Kyiv: IA NASU. 125–52.Search in Google Scholar

Petrauskas O, Avramenko M. 2019. The settlement Komariv – glass-production centre in the European Barbaricum: a cultural and natural environment. Plural. History, culture, society 2: 68–91.Search in Google Scholar

Powers N editor. 2012. Human osteology method statement. Available at: www. museumoflondon.org.uk/application/files/4814/5633/5269/osteology-method-statement-revised-2012.pdf.Search in Google Scholar

Ramezani G, Valaie N, Rakhshan V. 2015. The effect of water fluoride concentration on dental caries and fluorosis in five Iran provinces: A multi-center two-phase study. Dent Res J (Isfahan) 12(1):31–7.Search in Google Scholar

Smith BG, Knight JK. 1984. An index for measuring the wear of teeth. Br Dent J 156:435–8.Search in Google Scholar

Shyshkin R. 1999. Hospodarsko-ekolohichna model Cherniakhivskoi kultury (za materialamy serednoho Podniprovia) [Economic-ecological model of Chernjachiv culture (according materials from the Middle Dniper region)]. Археологія [Archaeology] 4:76–88.Search in Google Scholar

Tomczyk J, Szostek K, Lisowska-Gaczorek A, Mnich B, Zalewska M, Trzeciecki M, et al. 2020. Dental caries and isotope studies in the population of Radom (Poland) between the 11th and 19th centuries. Int J Osteoarchaeol 1–11.Search in Google Scholar

Toronchenko O.M. 2013. Ekolohichne doslidzhennia kontsentratsii ftoru u pytnii vodi Poltavskoi oblasti ta analiz vplyvu na zdorovia naselennia [Ecological study of fluorine concentration in drinking water of Poltava region and analysis of its impact on health of the population]. World of medicine and biology 42:52–7.Search in Google Scholar

Toso A, Gaspar S, Banha da Silva R., Garcia S, Alexander M. 2019. High status diet and health in Medieval Lisbon: a combined isotopic and osteological analysis of the Islamic population from São Jorge Castle, Portugal. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11:3699–716.Search in Google Scholar

Vodanović M, Brkić H, Slaus M, Demo Z. 2005. The frequency and distribution of caries in the mediaeval population of Bijelo Brdo in Croatia (10th–11th century). Arch Oral Biol 50:669–80.Search in Google Scholar

Wetselaar P, Vermaire JH, Visscher CM, Lobbezoo F, Schuller AA. 2016. The prevalence of tooth wear in the Dutch adult population. Caries Res 50:543–50.Search in Google Scholar

Zinkovskaya IV. 2015. K istoricheskoy otsenke ostrogotskogo korolevstva Ermanariha [About historical evaluation of ostgoths kingdom of Ermanaric]. Nauchnyie vedomosti. Seriya Istoriya. Politologiya. Ekonomika. Informatika [Scientific records. Series History. Political science. Economics. Informatics] 33:30–9.Search in Google Scholar

Yanko NV, Artemyev AV, Kaskova LF. 2017. Frequency of dental caries in children in the Early Iron Age and the Medieval populations from Ukraine. Anthropol Rev 80:415–26.Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo