Skip to main content
Ref ID: 27682
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Frelat, M. A.
Souday, C.
Title: The Bronze Age necropolis of Koh Ta Meas: insights into the health of the earliest inhabitants of the Angkor region
Date: 2015
Source: Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris
DOI: 10.1007/s13219-015-0129-2
Abstract: The Koh Ta Meas site, near Angkor, Cambodia, has revealed a partially excavated Bronze Age necropolis (2870 BP +/- 60) comprising 27 burials. The aim of this study is to shed light on the earliest inhabitants known to date in the Angkor region and to gain further knowledge on Early Bronze Age populations in Southeast Asia. The burials of some individuals, probably wrapped in matting, the type of funeral artefacts or the presence of pig skulls suggest sophisticated mortuary rituals and evoke other Southeast Asian sites. Analyses of the skeletal remains show that the sample individuals are characterized by a short stature and gracile bones. As expected given the poor bone preservation, we found very little significant evidence of pathology, including infections and trauma. The dental health pattern at Koh Ta Meas is generally good and consistent with the consumption of rice, and may suggest a gendered division of activities. Comparisons between this small group and Iron Age series from the region indicate a possible decline in dental health with the intensification of rice agriculture. An interesting pattern of intentional tooth ablation identified at Koh Ta Meas confirms the cultural continuity in the Pre-Angkorian region, as suggested by the archaeological evidence. As in other Southeast Asian skeletal samples, the health profile of the earliest inhabitants of Angkor is generally good and consistent with the adoption of rice agriculture during the Bronze Age.
Date Created: 4/20/2016
Volume: 27
Page Start: 142
Page End: 157