29 July, 2014

Starch from dental calculus

The following articles show discoveries of starch granules extracted from the human dental calculus in the Kofun period in Miyakonojo city, Miyazaki Prefecture. Unfortunately these were written just only in Japanese.

Sankei news
Yomiuri Shimbun 
Miyazaki Nichinichi Shimbun

According these articles, starch granules were identified as Vigna angularis and/or
Cardiocrinum cordatum.


Indeed, both of these modern reference starch granules show remarkable morphological features. I would know about substantial reasons of these identifications at a genus level but at a species level. Cardiocrinum cordatum is basically seen in northern areas from central Japan and Hokkaido, and so I'm wondering whether or not these plants were existed in the Kofun period in Kyushu.

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