Diachronic changes in dental health of Bronze Age rural populations from Nahal Refaim, Israel

Eva Chocholova, Patricia Smith, Emmanuel Eisenberg, Liora Kolska Horwitz, Eva Drozdova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the results of a study of dental pathology (specifically dental wear, caries, dental calculus, and enamel hypoplasia) carried out on 1108 teeth and empty alveoli of Bronze Age human populations that inhabited the rural settlement of Nahal Refaim, on the outskirts of the city of Jerusalem. The remains derive from a tomb complex that spans three phases of the period; Intermediate Bronze Age and the Middle Bronze Age I and Middle Bronze Age II villages that replaced them (ca. 2500–1550 BC). Dental pathology can reflect diet and therefore offers a unique insight into the lifeways of past populations. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which the dental health of this rural population was influenced by the far-reaching socioeconomic changes associated with the regional shift to urbanism by the Middle Bronze Age II. Although constrained by small sample sizes, we found that the pattern of dental pathology varied in a nonlinear fashion over time and have discussed the factors that may have attributed to this variation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Osteoarchaeology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). International Journal of Osteoarchaeology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • calculus
  • Canaanite village
  • caries
  • dental pathology
  • enamel hypoplasia
  • Southern Levant


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