Morphological and Metric Description of a Rare Mesolithic Deciduous Tooth from Trail Creek Caves, Alaska

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A human deciduous maxillary central incisor from Trail Creek Caves, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, is described. The tooth from ancient Beringia is radiocarbon dating to 8085 ±40 BP. The tooth is compared to the incisors from the deciduous dentition of USR1 from the Upward Sun River site in central Alaska dating to ca. 11,500 (cal) BP. Genetic analysis of the Trail Creek child and the USR1 child showed that they both belonged to an ancient eastern Beringian population that remained isolated in present-day Alaska during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The tooth was measured using a sliding calliper and the morphology of the tooth described directly from macroscopic evaluation as well as from a 3D surface scan. Based on tooth development, the age of the Trail Creek child corresponds to an age of 1-1.5 years. The sex of the child is determined as female from the genetic analysis. The tooth was expected to show the characteristic shovel-shape of Native Americans but was without marked shovel-shape. The variability of shovel-shape in maxillary deciduous and permanent incisors is dis-cussed and it is suggested that the trait shovel-shape in a deciduous dentition is more reliably recorded on the maxillary lateral incisors than the central incisors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDental Anthropology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)28-37
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023, Dental Anthropology Association. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • ancient, basal cingulum, maxillary, shovel-shape, Tooth morphology

ID: 369861151