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Disturbances and noise: Defining furrow-form enamel hypoplasia

Bocaege, Emmy, Hillson, S. (2016) Disturbances and noise: Defining furrow-form enamel hypoplasia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 161 (4). pp. 744-751. ISSN 0002-9483. (doi:10.1002/ajpa.23070) (KAR id:70048)



The investigation of the record of growth locked in dental enamel provides a unique opportunity to build a comprehensive picture of growth disruption episodes during childhood. This study presents a new methodological basis for the analysis of enamel growth disruptions (enamel hypoplasia) using incremental microstructures of enamel.


A three?dimensional technique based upon use of an Alicona 3D Infinite Focus imaging microscope and software is used to record developmental features in the enamel of human permanent mandibular lateral incisors of one individual from the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük (Turkey). Using this new technique, perikymata are measured down the longitudinal axis of the crown from the incisal margin to the cervix and perikyma spacing profiles are constructed with this new technique. A mathematical basis for the detection of spacing anomalies, which serve as indicators of enamel hypoplasia is presented based upon these profiles.


Three clearly delineated defects were identified visually, then matched and confirmed metrically using the enamel surface and perikyma spacing profiles.


Human growth has often been used as an indicator of health in past societies because of developmental sensitivity to fluctuations in nutritional status and disease load. Hence, standardization of furrow?form defect identification is of crucial importance for reducing the amount of current subjectivity in the determination of a threshold for the identification of defects among individuals of past populations. The method presented here, which is based on microscopic images of the tooth crown as well as recorded measurements of incremental structures, represents a combined visual?metric approach using LOWESS residuals, and as such provides a substantial advancement to previous methods. It is therefore recommended that additional studies be carried out with this methodology to determine whether this method improves the reliability of enamel defect identification among individuals recovered from bioarchaeological contexts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/ajpa.23070
Uncontrolled keywords: çatalhöyük, enamel hypoplasia, incremental markings, three?dimensional analysis
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Alexandra Leduc-Pagel
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2018 16:53 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 23:29 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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