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This paper outlines the first methodology for recording dental enamel hypoplasia in the high-crowned dentition of modern and archaeological caprine teeth. The method has been developed and trialed on five caprine populations from Orkney (UK); two modern populations (Shetland and North Ronaldsay breeds) and three Neolithic assemblages from the archaeological sites of Knap of Howar, Skara Brae and Holm of Papa Westray. Problems associated with differential tooth wear, as well as the presence of coronal cementum, are discussed, and recommendations are given on the identification and recording of hypoplastic dental defects in caprines. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.