Dental Archaeology: the way to the athlete's stomach

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemera


Ancient critics of ancient Greek athletes often attacked the diet of ‘professional’ athletes. Stating athletes were ‘slaves to their stomachs’ (Euripides, Autolykos, frag. 282) and ‘pigs’ (Galen, Exercise with the Small Ball) from their gluttonous and meat-loving appetites (Athenaeus, Gastronomers 10.412-415A). However, when the diet of athletes is examined in the light of modern sports science, it becomes clear that athletes needed a more meat-heavy diet to supply the necessary proteins essential in muscle growth and maintaining balanced testosterone and other hormone levels that apply to sports performance. Findings in dental archaeology have provided new insights into this research. Scholarship from Michael (2014) and Keenlyside (2008) highlight the potential dietary difference between males and females. Such as in sites like Apollonia, that have a gymnasium, and arguably, an athletic community. This paper aims to highlight the use of dental archaeology beyond its worth in identifying peoples and diets of the ancient world. It will be shown its further capabilities when combined, interdisciplinary, with modern medical science, in an attempt provide new perspectives on the ancient athletic world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2017
EventCambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference (CASA): Learning Through Archaeology - McDonald Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Sep 2017 → …


ConferenceCambridge Annual Student Archaeology Conference (CASA)
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period16/09/17 → …


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