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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Tooth Ablation along the Murray River in Southeastern Australia

Tooth Ablation along the Murray River in Southeastern Australia

(p.211) 14 Tooth Ablation along the Murray River in Southeastern Australia
A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth

Colin Pardoe

Arthur C. Durband

University Press of Florida

Tooth ablation has a long history among Australian Aborigines. Here we present a study of four groups along a 370km stretch of the Murray River in southeastern Australia. The frequency and patterning are examined with respect to the individual’s sex, population, and tooth type. Within the study area, ablation is nine times more common among men than women (27 percent versus 5 percent). Although the samples are from cemeteries, there is no chronological control and from other evidence the remains probably date to the later Holocene. Larger regional linguistic and cultural groupings appear to be important indicators for ablation patterning, particularly differences between women upstream (7 percent) and downstream (absent). The tooth or teeth removed varies between groups and most combinations were seen, although ablation of a central incisor was the most common.

Keywords:   Australia, Murray River, ablation, Australian Aborigines

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