Dental wear patterns in early modern humans from Skhul and Qafzeh: A response to Luca Fiorenza and Ottmar Kullmer

Rachel Sarig, Anne marie Tillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is common knowledge, that in archaic populations teeth could have been used as tools, such behavior can be studied by evaluating occlusal attrition patterns. Fiorenza and Kullmer suggested a digital approach to distinguish between masticatory and non-masticatory wear facets in archaic and modern populations. In their last response to our letter (Fiorenza and Kullmer, 2015), they used comparative modern samples to demonstrate that described para-facets in Skhul and Qafzeh individuals could not have been produced by dental occlusal anomalies and also since they claimed that more than 50% of the sample analyzed in their study are characterized by para-facets, it is highly unlikely to be the result of dental pathologies. What the authors neglected to mention is that misalignment of teeth and/or malocclusion features in the Qafzeh specimens for example are present in 55.5% of the individuals, and therefore, malocclusions should be at least reconsidered as a possible cause for the para-facets formation. Also, dental cross-bite may involve functional shift and mandibular deflection and therefore, should also be considered as a possible cause for untypical occlusal contacts. In the current reply, we indicate the disadvantages of the occlusal fingerprints analysis in archaic fragmented samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-87
Number of pages3
JournalHOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

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