Publications by authors named "Lumír Poláček"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Early medieval diet in childhood and adulthood and its reflection in the dental health of a Central European population (Mikulčice, 9-10 centuries, Czech Republic).

Arch Oral Biol 2019 Nov 14;107:104526. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Department of Anthropology, National Museum, Václavské náměstí 68, 110 00 Praha 1, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Objectives: The aim of this study is to provide a detailed view of dental health in relationship to the diet of the Great Moravian population, with emphasis on childhood diet.

Design: We studied skeletal samples of the early medieval population of the Mikulčice agglomeration (Czech Republic) originating from the cemetery of the church VI (91 adults). Stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen (intra-individual sampling - tooth and bone) was performed on this material, and dental characteristics (carious lesions, intensity of caries (I-CE), dental wear, linear enamel hypoplasia) evaluated.

Results: Isotopic signals obtained from tooth and bone samples of the same individuals differ significantly. Tooth samples show higher δC and lower δN than bone samples. δN in tooth and bone samples is related to socio-economic status. We discovered a relationship between isotopic signals from tooth or bone and intensity of caries and dental wear.

Conclusion: We provide the first direct information about the diet of the juvenile part of the Great Moravian population from Mikulčice. The diet of children differed from the diet of adults. Children consumed more millet and less animal protein than adults. The social stratification of this population was obvious in dietary composition from childhood. Elites consumed more animal proteins than non-elite individuals. Tooth decay was related to relative consumption of plant and animal proteins. Greater dental wear is related to a diet based on C3 plants. There was no significant connection between diet composition and the formation of enamel hypoplasia.
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November 2019

Facial skeleton asymmetry and its relationship to mastication in the Early Medieval period (Great Moravian Empire, Mikulčice, 9th-10th century).

Arch Oral Biol 2017 Dec 19;84:64-73. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 128 43, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse the relationship of mastication and directional asymmetry (DA) of upper facial skeleton in Early Medieval sample from the Mikulčice settlement (Czech Republic).

Design: The settlement is divided into two burial areas of presumably different socioeconomic status: the castle and the sub-castle. The material consisted of 193 individuals (125 castle, 68 sub-castle). The relationship of facial skeleton DA and mastication was analysed by examining tooth wear and mandibular shape by means of 3D geometric morphometrics. Tooth wear of premolars and molars was evaluated using appropriate scoring systems. 3D coordinates of 35 mandibular landmarks were scanned using MicroScribe G2X digitizing system.

Results: The results did not reveal any significant differences in tooth wear DA or mandible DA values between burial areas or sexes. Mandibular shape, however, differed significantly between burial areas and sexes. Directional changes of mandibular landmarks supported a right chewing side preference in the sample. Significant relationship between upper facial skeleton DA and mandible DA was recorded.

Conclusions: Differences in subsistence between burial areas and sexes did not translate into differences in mandible DA and dental wear. However, mandibular shape analysis revealed prominence of areas affected by masticatory muscles in individuals from the castle. Higher consumption of tough material, such as meat, has been proposed as possible explanation. The right side was found to be preferential for chewing. The relationship between upper facial skeleton DA and mandible DA was concluded to be the result of the compensatory and adaptive function of mandible.
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December 2017

Urban and rural infant-feeding practices and health in early medieval Central Europe (9th-10th Century, Czech Republic).

Am J Phys Anthropol 2014 Dec 25;155(4):635-51. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, Ministère de la culture et de la communication, LAMPEA UMR 7269, 13094, Aix-en-Provence, France; Department of Anthropology, National Museum, Václavské náměstí 68, 11579, Praha 1, Czech Republic; Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Viničná 7, 12844, Praha 2, Czech Republic.

In the Central European context, the 9th and 10th centuries are well known for rapid cultural and societal changes concerning the development of the economic and political structures of states as well as the adoption of Christianity. A bioarchaeological study based on a subadult skeletal series was conducted to tackle the impact of these changes on infant and young child feeding practices and, consequently, their health in both urban and rural populations. Data on growth and frequency of nonspecific stress indicators of a subadult group aged 0-6 years were analyzed. A subsample of 41 individuals was selected for nitrogen and carbon isotope analyses, applying an intra-individual sampling strategy (bone vs. tooth). The isotopic results attest to a mosaic of food behaviors. In the urban sample, some children may have been weaned during their second year of life, while some others may have still been consuming breast milk substantially up to 4-5 years of age. By contrast, data from the rural sample show more homogeneity, with a gradual cessation of breastfeeding starting after the age of 2 years. Several factors are suggested which may have been responsible for applied weaning strategies. There is no evidence that observed weaning strategies affected the level of biological stress which the urban subadult population had to face compared with the rural subadult population.
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December 2014

The prevalence and distribution of dental caries in four early medieval non-adult populations of different socioeconomic status from Central Europe.

Arch Oral Biol 2015 Jan 23;60(1):62-76. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Institute of Archaeology of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Královopolská 147, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to map the dental health status in non-adult individuals and to verify whether and how the existence of caries in the non-adult age group is associated with the different socio-economic status of early medieval populations.

Material And Methods: We studied the dental remains from the acropolis of the Mikulčice settlement agglomeration, where members of the higher social classes were buried, and from the Mikulčice hinterland. Overall, we evaluated 2544 teeth/3714 alveoli of deciduous dentition and 1938 teeth/2128 alveoli of permanent dentition. We determined the number of individuals with dental caries (i.e., caries frequency index, F-CE) and the proportion of teeth/alveoli with caries/ante-mortem tooth loss (i.e., caries intensity index, I-CE).

Results: We found no statistical significant difference in the F-CE values between the Mikulčice hinterland and the acropolis. In addition, we found no statistically significant difference in the proportion of teeth with carious lesions (I-CE) either in the case of deciduous dentition or in the case of permanent dentition between the hinterland and the acropolis. In the case of permanent dentition, the statistically significant highest proportion of carious lesions (I-CE) was found in Mikulčice I (p ≤ 0.05). We confirmed an increase in the rate of caries with age.

Conclusions: The level of caries at all of the studied medieval locations was very low. We presume that lifestyle and the associated dietary habits and hygienic practices of the individuals or population groups had a greater influence on dental caries than did the socio-economic status of these individuals.
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January 2015

The shape variability of human tibial epiphyses in an early medieval Great Moravian population (9th-10th century AD): a geometric morphometric assessment.

Anthropol Anz 2014 ;71(3):219-36

Limb bone morphology is influenced by external factors, including changes in subsistence and socioeconomic shifts. The aim of this study was to identify and describe any trends in morphological variation in human tibial epiphyses within an early medieval population of central Europe using surface scanning and geometric morphometric methods. The results are discussed in terms of three potential sources of variation in shape variability: sexual dimorphism, age at death and social status. These parameters were tested on a Great Moravian population sample (35 men and 30 women) from a Mikulcice settlement (9th-10th century AD). Proximal (13 landmarks) and distal (8 landmarks) tibial epiphyses were evaluated independently. The most significant differences in morphology of both articular ends were found between the groups separated by sex. Proximal tibial variability in the studied sample was characterized by a strong relationship between tibial size and shape of sexual dimorphic traits. Significant shape differences were also identified between adultus (20 - 40 years) and maturus (40 - 60) age groups regarding the proximal epiphysis but neither of the epiphyses was affected by the presumed social status as derived from location within the context of the settlement.
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September 2014