Brief communication: Prehistoric dentistry in the American Southwest: A drilled canine from Sky Aerie, Colorado

Authors

  • Tim D. White,

    1. Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720–3140
    2. Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3140
    3. Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720–3140
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  • David Degusta,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720–3140
    2. Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720–3140
    • Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, Department of Integrative Biology, 3060 VLSB, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140
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  • Gary D. Richards,

    1. Laboratory for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720–3140
    2. Department of Anatomy, University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California 94115
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  • Steven G. Baker

    1. Centuries Research, Montrose, Colorado 81402
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Abstract

A prehistoric Native American mandible from a Fremont site (circa AD 1025) in Colorado has a conical pit in the worn occlusal surface of the lower right canine. Natural causes for this modification are ruled out by the presence of internal striae, a finding confirmed by experimental replication. The canine was artificially drilled before the individual's death and is associated with a periapical abscess. This is one of a very few examples of prehistoric dentistry in the world, and the first from the American Southwest. Am J Phys Anthropol 103:409–414, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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