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Brief communication: Subvertical grooves on interproximal wear facets from the El Sidrón (Asturias, Spain) Neandertal dental sample

Authors

  • Almudena Estalrrich,

    Corresponding author
    1. PaleoAnthropology Group, Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
    • PaleoAnthropology Group, Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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    • Tel: +34 91 566 89 83; Fax: +34 91 566 89 60.

  • Antonio Rosas,

    1. PaleoAnthropology Group, Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Samuel García-Vargas,

    1. PaleoAnthropology Group, Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • Antonio García-Tabernero,

    1. PaleoAnthropology Group, Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC, Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006 Madrid, Spain
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  • David Santamaría,

    1. Área de Prehistoria, Departamento de Historia, Universidad de Oviedo, Calle Teniente Alfonso Martínez s / n, 33011 Oviedo, Spain
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  • Marco de la Rasilla

    1. Área de Prehistoria, Departamento de Historia, Universidad de Oviedo, Calle Teniente Alfonso Martínez s / n, 33011 Oviedo, Spain
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Abstract

The distribution of subvertical grooves on interproximal wear dental facets from the El Sidrón (Asturias, Spain) Neandertals is described and analyzed. Out of 93 teeth, 64.5% present subvertical grooves, including a high frequency (50%) on the anterior dentition. Contrary to some studies, subvertical grooves from adjacent facets perfectly overlap each other and do not interdigitate, probably forming small channels. Both the facet and the groove surface share the same polished appearance, suggesting a common origin. Statistical analyses reveal that the number of grooves is neither dependent on the degree of occlusal wear, nor on the position on the tooth or the individual's age. However, facet width is an important factor determining the number of subvertical grooves. The etiology of subvertical grooves formation on Neandertal teeth remains unclear. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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