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Title: Non-masticatory uses of anterior teeth of Sima de los Huesos individuals (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)
Authors: Lozano Ruiz, Marina
Bermúdez de Castro, José María
Carbonell, Eudald
Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Keywords: Cultural wear features;Anterior dentition;Paramasticatory activities;Middle Pleistocene;Homo heidelbergensis
Issue Date: Oct-2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Human Evolution, 2008, 55 (4), 713-728
Abstract: In this study we examine the labial and occlusal surfaces of incisors and canines of hominins recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH), middle Pleistocene site, in order to establish the possible extra-masticatory use of anterior teeth. We have compared the microwear of these fossils with microwear from the anterior teeth of Australian Aborigines, a population characterized by ethnographic evidence of the use of their teeth as a third hand. These two samples of teeth were microscopically analyzed using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Our results support the “cultural” origin of microwear observed on fossil teeth: we conclude that the SH hominins used their anterior teeth as a “third hand” for para- or extra-masticatory activities.
ISSN: 0047-2484
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.04.007
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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