unc department of anthropology

Linear Enamel Hypoplasia


Ancient Himera

Research Abstract

The site of Himera is located by modern-day Sicily and was a prominent center in the Mediterranean for trade and inter-cultural interactions. In order to better understand the relative stress experienced by those colonized by the Greeks in Himera, canine and incisor casts are examined for Linear Enamel Hypoplasia (LEH). LEH is an enamel defect that is a result of stress, disease, or lack of abundant resources. LEH is represented as a change in perikymata, which are layers of enamel deposits that are laid down every 8 days during the first 6 years of life (Temple et al., 2012). To analyze LEH, a dissecting microscope is used to capture and measure the perikymata along the length of the teeth. Chi-square and t-tests are then used to determine if there is a significant relationship between burial style, sex, location of necropolis, age, and LEH. The data was determined to be statistically insignificant, indicating no clear relationship between social position or burial style in the prevalence of LEH.


We would like to thank the Frontiers of Science Institute,  the 15 Mile Ranch, and Xcel Energy for sponsoring our research and boarding. 

We would also like to thank Lori Ball,  Dr. Britney Kyle, Liz Jennings, and the UNC Department of Anthropology for guiding and supporting our research. 

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates award numbers 1560227 and 1560158, the University of Georgia, and the University of Northern Colorado.

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