The use of teeth in anthropological analyses has always provided valuable information on the subsistence patterns of human communities, as well as the biological relationships among them. The present study analyses the permanent dentition of several diachronically continuing samples from the Trentino alpine region of Italy from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. The study of both metric and non-metric dental traits show a strong level of homogeneity from the earlier to the later samples, indicating little external biological influence from surrounding areas. However, the evidence of oral pathology and linear enamel hypoplasia highlights a trend of increase in defects, particularly between the Neolithic and the Copper Age. This has been ascribed to a shift towards more intense agricultural activities and pastoralism, that led to a change in diet and to an increased sedentism.
Dental evidence of biological affinity and environmental conditions in prehistoric Trentino (Italy) samples from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age / Cucina, A.; Lucci, M.; Vargiu, R.; Coppa, Alfredo. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OSTEOARCHAEOLOGY. - ISSN 1047-482X. - STAMPA. - 9:6(1999), pp. 404-416. [10.1002/(sici)1099-1212(199911/12)9:6<404::aid-oa498>3.3.co;2-z]