Manungso Lawas

The comparison of the diet of prehistoric people between Japan and Southeast Asia: study of Jomon people from Japan and Wajak man from Indonesia

In this investigation, I talked about the prehistoric human’s dental wear of Wajak from Indonesia and Jomon from Japan.

The former represented the Mesolithic period while the letter is Neolithic period. Both specimens from Indonesia and Japan represented of hunter-gatherers. For the comparison other Paleolithic (Sangiran group: Homo erectus), and Neolithic (Hoegroet-Jimbe-Sampung & Toge-Momer groups) specimens from Indonesia will also be used.

The intention of the study is the willingness to know the pattern of subsistence in the past human populations especially from Asia represented by Wajak and Jomon; to investigate whether there is similarities or dissimilarities between dental wear pattern of Mesolithic (Wajak) and Neolithic (Jomon people) populations.

The result of study revealed that the Paleolithic materials (Sangiran group) have the largest size of molar teeth, followed by Mesolithic (Wajak group) and Neolithic materials that are Hoegroet-Jimbe-Sampung, Toge-Momer and Jomon materials. The latter (Jomon) population has the smallest size of upper molar teeth.

The difference of molar size between Paleolithic-Mesolithic and Neolithic people should support the existence of dietary difference between those peoples. The Paleolithic and Mesolithic peoples have smaller or weaker dental wear score compared to the Neolithic people especially which represented by Jomon populations.

By this research I come to the understanding that there is evolutionary trend where the younger the time, the diet of peoples become softer, the size of molar teeth become smaller and the molar teeth to be less resistance to the attrition compared to the older population.

Reference:
Arif, J. 2001. The comparison of the diet of prehistoric people between Japan and Southeast Asia: study of Jomon people from Japan and Wajak man from Indonesia. Research report, unpublished
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[19apr12K VBM]
^^ Wajak
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