The biocultural context of dental modification in prehistoric Southeast Asia

Newton, Jennifer, and Domett, Kate (2014) The biocultural context of dental modification in prehistoric Southeast Asia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 153 (S58). p. 195.

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Abstract

This research examines intentional dental modifications by means of ablation and filing from archaeological sites throughout Southeast Asia. Until recently, cases of intentional filing were undocumented throughout prehistoric Southeast Asia and intentional ablation has been limited to Neolithic and Iron Age sites with only four tentative cases of intentional ablation in the Bronze Age. The increasing number of samples from newly documented sites in Cambodia, and previously documented evidence from other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand and Vietnam, allows the opportunity to systematically examine ablation patterns from across the region and around the world. Worldwide ethnographic studies indicate the technique of filing differs around the world, while ablation methods are similar. Biological factors such as age and sex are examined, along with migratory and diet patterns, to evaluate the association of these factors with dental modification. Methods of extracting and filing the teeth, and the biological impact on subsequent dental health are also explored. Pathology related to alveolar bone or adjacent teeth is quite low, and it appears dental modification did not negatively impact dental health. Similar patterns of ablation were found between the Neolithic Thai site of Khok Phanom Di and late Iron Age Cambodian sites Phum Snay and Phum Sophy, suggesting possible links between Thailand and Cambodia. Though, unique patterns have been identified and are discussed, including exclusive filing patterns for Cambodia and Thailand. This research allows improved opportunities for understanding the biological impact and biocultural significance of intentional dental modification throughout prehistoric Southeast Asia.

Item ID: 33225
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1096-8644
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This abstract appears in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology Special Issue: Program of the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologist. The 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologist was held 8-12 April 2014 in Calgary, Albaerta, Canada.

This work was also published as Newton, Jennifer, and Domett, Kate (2017) The biocultural context of dental modification in prehistoric Southeast Asia. In: Burnett, Scott E., and Irish, Joel D., (eds.) A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth. Bioarchaeological Interpretations of the Human Past: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives . University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA, pp. 159-181. and can be accessed through ResearchOnline@JCU at the related URL.

Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2014 06:54
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160102 Biological (Physical) Anthropology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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