Internal tooth structure and burial practices: insights into the Neolithic necropolis of Gurgy (France, 5100-4000 cal. BC)

Le Luyer, Mona, Coquerelle, Michael, Rottier, Stéphane, Bayle, Priscilla (2016) Internal tooth structure and burial practices: insights into the Neolithic necropolis of Gurgy (France, 5100-4000 cal. BC). PLoS ONE, 11 (7). e0159688. ISSN 1932-6203. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159688)

Abstract

Variations in the dental crown form are widely studied to interpret evolutionary changes in primates as well as to assess affinities among human archeological populations. Compared to external metrics of dental crown size and shape, variables including the internal structures such as enamel thickness, tissue proportions, and the three-dimensional shape of enamel-dentin junction (EDJ), have been described as powerful measurements to study taxonomy, phylogenetic relationships, dietary, and/or developmental patterns. In addition to providing good estimate of phenotypic distances within/across archeological samples, these internal tooth variables may help to understand phylogenetic, functional, and developmental underlying causes of variation. In this study, a high resolution microtomographic-based record of upper permanent second molars from 20 Neolithic individuals of the necropolis of Gurgy (France) was applied to evaluate the intrasite phenotypic variation in crown tissue proportions, thickness and distribution of enamel, and EDJ shape. The study aims to compare interindividual dental variations with burial practices and chronocultural parameters, and suggest underlying causes of these dental variations. From the non-invasive characterization of internal tooth structure, differences have been found between individuals buried in pits with alcove and those buried in pits with container and pits with wattling. Additionally, individuals from early and recent phases of the necropolis have been distinguished from those of the principal phase from their crown tissue proportions and EDJ shape. The results suggest that the internal tooth structure may be a reliable proxy to track groups sharing similar chronocultural and burial practices. In particular, from the EDJ shape analysis, individuals buried in an alcove shared a reduction of the distolingual dentin horn tip (corresponding to the hypocone). Environmental, developmental and/or functional underlying causes might be suggested for the origin of phenotypic differences shared by these individuals buried in alcoves.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159688
Uncontrolled keywords: Enamel thickness, Enamel-dentine junction, burial practices, Neolithic
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Biological Anthropology
Depositing User: M. Le-Luyer
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 09:17 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 19:10 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/62145 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Le Luyer, Mona: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7999-0294
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