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Keywords:

  • biomechanics;
  • compression;
  • shear

Abstract

Dental microwear was recorded in a Bronze-Iron Age (3570–3000 BP) sample of modern humans recovered from Tell es-Sa'idiyeh in the Jordan Valley. Microwear patterns were compared between mandibular molars, and between the upper and lower part of facet 9. The comparison revealed a greater frequency of pits and shorter scratches on the second and third molars, compared to the first. Pit frequency also increased on the lower part of the facet on the first molar, compared to the upper part. These results support previous calls for standardization when selecting a molar type for a diet-microwear study. Otherwise the microwear variations along the tooth row could mask any diet-microwear correlations. The results also suggest that there may be a need to choose a consistent location on a facet in order to enhance comparability among studies. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.