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Title: One million years of cultural dental wear at Atapuerca sites
Authors: Lozano Ruiz, Marina
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Carbonell, Eudald
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences (IUPPS)
Citation: XVII World UISPP Congress, 2014, p. 925
Abstract: Cultural dental wear provides useful information about the use of teeth for non alimentary purposes. Nonalimentary tasks are usually related to economical and cultural activities. The presence of cultural dental wear has been identified in three different Homo species from Sierra de Atapuerca sites. The human remains analyzed in this study were recovered in four sites from Sierra de Atapuerca: Sima del Elefante, Gran Dolina-TD6, Sima de los Huesos and El Mirador. The chronology of these sites ranges from more than one million to 4,000 years ago. More than 500 teeth from 56 individuals belonging to three different species (Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis and Homo sapiens) have been analyzed by means of electron scanning microscopy (SEM and ESEM). Dental wear features have been identified, measured and described to determine patterns of dental wear. These patterns can be related to specific activities. Evidence of cultural dental wear has been documented in the three Homo species analyzed showing the use of teeth as a tool as far as one million years ago. However, each species shows specific typology and frequency of dental wear features. Also, the dental features are located in different dental surfaces and teeth indicating a diversity of activities carried out using teeth as a tool. The use of teeth as a tool was a widespread habit in the genus Homo. However, each species carried out specific types of tasks involving the use of different dental surfaces and teeth. The diversity of dental wear patterns can be related to cultural and economical activities widening our knowledge of the behaviour of these hominins.
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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