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Non-masticatory uses of anterior teeth of Sima de los Huesos individuals (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)

Lozano Ruiz, Marina and Bermúdez de Castro, José María and Carbonell i Roura, Eudald and Arsuaga , Juan Luis de (2008) Non-masticatory uses of anterior teeth of Sima de los Huesos individuals (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain). Journal of Human Evolution, 55 . pp. 713-718. ISSN 0047-2484

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Abstract

In this study we examine the labial and occlusal surfaces of incisors and canines of hominins recovered
from the Sima de los Huesos (SH), middle Pleistocene site, in order to establish the possible extramasticatory
use of anterior teeth.We have compared the microwear of these fossils with microwear from
the anterior teeth of Australian Aborigines, a population characterized by ethnographic evidence of the
use of their teeth as a third hand. These two samples of teeth were microscopically analyzed using
Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Our results support the ‘‘cultural’’ origin of microwear observed on
fossil teeth: we conclude that the SH hominins used their anterior teeth as a ‘‘third hand’’ for para- or
extra-masticatory activities.


Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cultural wear features; Anterior dentition; Paramasticatory activities; Middle Pleistocene; Homo heidelbergensis
Subjects:Sciences > Geology > Paleontology
ID Code:12237
Deposited On:14 Feb 2011 09:59
Last Modified:14 Feb 2011 10:04

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