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A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth$
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Scott E. Burnett and Joel D. Irish

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054834

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054834.001.0001

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The Relationship between Intentional Dental Ablation and Hereditary Agenesis in Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age China

The Relationship between Intentional Dental Ablation and Hereditary Agenesis in Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age China

Chapter:
(p.92) 7 The Relationship between Intentional Dental Ablation and Hereditary Agenesis in Late Neolithic to Early Bronze Age China
Source:
A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth
Author(s):

Christine Lee

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813054834.003.0007

Dental ablation is a rare occurrence in ancient China. While previous studies have looked at cultural reasons for this practice this study examines possible biological causes for intentional tooth removal. Could a hereditary dental anomaly have been the original source for a cultural marker? The dentitions from 243 individuals were examined, representing five late Neolithic archaeological cultures. Each individual was scored for evidence of dental ablation, dental agenesis, and supernumerary teeth. Patterns of dental agenesis did not match regions with dental ablation. The one distinguishing trait among the Dawenkou was a higher frequency of supernumerary teeth. In conclusion, the Dawenkou sample had some biologically distinguishing features in their dentition, but their relationship with dental ablation is not supported.

Keywords:   dental ablation, agenesis, Early Bronze Age China, Dawenkou

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