Dental anthropological and clinical characters observed in teeth excavated from Ikenohata site Tokyo in the Edo era 1603-1866.
Eisaku Kanazawa (School of Dentistry at Matsudo, Nihon University)
Paper short abstract:
Teeth excavated from Ikenohata site in Tokyo were observed from anthropological and clinical point of view. The traces of “ohaguro” which was a custom of dyeing teeth black were found using energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry. Polished surfaces by “fusayouji” which was a toothpick widely used at that time were also found.
Paper long abstract:
Skeletal materials including teeth excavated from Ikenohata archaeological site demonstrate evidences of dental care, oral habits and pathological condition prevailed in Edo, the former Japanese capital from 1603 to 1866. The traces of "ohaguro" which was a custom of dyeing teeth black and was difficult to be detected in the archaeological materials were found using energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry, because blackening solution contained dissolved iron in acetic acid. Tooth polishing sand began to be used by ordinary people in the Edo era, too. Polished surfaces by using "fusayouji" which was a specially designed toothpick with tooth brush at its end made of willow wood were also found in many teeth. The site was in the graveyard of a temple in down town Tokyo, in which mainly commoners were buried. The incidences of dental caries and enamel hypoplasia were also investigated, and the results were compared with other sites of the same period.
Health, ageing and life: recent knowledge revealed in dental anthropology