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Characterizing Evulsion in the Later Stone Age Maghreb: age, sex and effects on mastication

De Groote, IEPM and Humphrey, LT (2015) Characterizing Evulsion in the Later Stone Age Maghreb: age, sex and effects on mastication. Quaternary International. ISSN 1040-6182

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Abstract

This paper assesses the earliest evidence for widespread dental modification in Northwest Africa. The intentional modification of teeth has implications for an individual’s appearance, sense of identity and perceived status. The range of modifications reported varies from alterations of shape or color to the complete removal of healthy teeth (evulsion or ablation). The availability of well-dated collections reveals that Northwest Africa was the first region where the custom of tooth evulsion was widely practiced. Analysis of Iberomaurusian (Late Stone Age, n=77) and Capsian dental material (n=12) shows that evulsion was present in most male and female individuals (>94%). The most common Iberomaurusian practice involved removal of both upper central incisors (around 65%) although removal of fewer, none and more teeth was also recorded. Observations of the extent of alveolar remodeling of different sockets revealed that teeth were frequently removed at different ages, suggesting that the cultural significance was age transgressive and may have related to an event that individuals experienced more than once. During the Capsian period the prevalence of evulsion was lower in males than in females, but when present more teeth were removed with evulsion frequently involving both mandible and maxilla. Tooth wear analysis shows that evulsion affected not only the appearance of the individual but also the functioning of the masticatory complex.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0406 Physical Geography And Environmental Geoscience, 2101 Archaeology, 0403 Geology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2015 08:10
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2016 00:50
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2114

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