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Abstract

Published evidence indicates sharp reductions in the hominid dentition following the end of the Pleistocene. These reductions, both in size and in morphological complexity, have proceeded farthest in those areas where culture change has occurred most rapidly. The model proposed here suggests that post-Pleistocene dental reduction may be the result of the change in selective forces consequent from the invention and use of pottery and the changes in food-preparation techniques after the end of the Pleistocene. Models for testing this hypothesis are discussed.