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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: 17 September 2021

Dental Modification and the Expansion and Manipulation of Mesoamerican Identity into Northwest Mexico

Dental Modification and the Expansion and Manipulation of Mesoamerican Identity into Northwest Mexico

Chapter:
(p.298) 19 Dental Modification and the Expansion and Manipulation of Mesoamerican Identity into Northwest Mexico
Source:
A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth
Author(s):

James T. Watson

Cristina García M.

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813054834.003.0019

This chapter characterizes dental modification in a skeletal sample dating to the Middle (A.D. 500–1200) and Late Ceramic (A.D. 1200–1600) periods from Sonora, Mexico. Fifteen individuals from El Cementerio display dental modification including ablation and tooth filing. Dental modification may be a biocultural trait that spread from Mesoamerica along the West Mexican coast around A.D. 1000. El Cementerio represents the furthest northern expanse of this practice within Mexico, but the site is completely devoid of material evidence for Mesoamerican influence. The site may be a regional center for a settlement system stretching the middle Rio Yaqui. Some residents, influenced by trading partners along the coast, appear to have adopted dental modification (and cranial modification) as a way to manipulate their identity to visibly connect to more influential groups along the West Mexican coast and support the management of status within the middle Rio Yaqui area.

Keywords:   dental modification, ablation, tooth filing, Mexico, Mesoamerica, identity

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