Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Anthropology and Ethnic Studies

First Committee Member

Debra L. Martin

Number of Pages



This project analyzed dentition from a sample (n =142) of Early Agricultural period skeletons (B.C. 1600-200 A.D.) from the site of La Playa (SON F:10:3), Sonora, Mexico. Data was collected on pathology rates for dental caries and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL) to test the hypothesis that hormone-fluctuations associated with pregnancy increase dental pathology in females. Males and females were not found to have significant differences in caries rates. However, statistically significant differences in AMTL were found with females exhibiting more tooth loss than males ( p=.022). When compared across age categories, reproductive-age females had substantial increases in AMTL compared to age-matched males; This pattern suggests that differences in dental health may be sex-based. With decreased birth-spacing associated with sedentism and agriculture, female oral health suffers. Findings from this study, with research from clinical studies on dental health and pregnancy, provide insight into the history of sex-differences in oral pathology and women's health.


Agricultural; Dental; Early; Females; Health; Mexico; Sex; Transition

Controlled Subject

Archaeology; Physical anthropology; Forensic anthropology; Indians of North America--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

3532.8 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit