Identification of Areca catechu (Betel Nut) Residues on the Dentitions of Bronze Age Inhabitants of Nui Nap, Northern Vietnam

Marc Oxenham, Locher Cornelia, Lan Cuong Nguyen, Kim Thuy Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dentitions of 31 individuals excavated from the Bronze Age site Nui Nap, Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam were
examined for the presence of Areca catechu (betel nut) residues. The chief investigatory method involved GC/MS
analysis of a dark reddish-brown stain commonly observed on the labial aspect of the anterior teeth of individuals from
this site. The results of this work indicate that these teeth were stained by way of betel nut. Enamel surface morphology
and the distribution of staining suggests purposeful application of betel nut residues to the teeth, perhaps for aesthetic
reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-915
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002

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