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Title: Beeswax as dental filling on a Neolithic human tooth
Authors: Bernardini, F
Tuniz, C
Coppa, A
Mancini, L
Dreossi, D
Eichert, D
Turco, G
Biasotto, M
Terrasi, F
De Cesare, N
Hua, Q
Levchenko, VA
Keywords: Bees
Human populations
Age estimation
Issue Date: 19-Sep-2012
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Bernardini, F., Tuniz, C., Coppa, A., Mancini, L., Dreossi, D., Eichert, D., Turco, G., Biasotto, M., Terrasi, F., De Cesare, N., Hua, Q., & Levchenko, V. (2012). Beeswax as dental filling on a Neolithic human tooth. Plos One, 7(9), Article Number e44904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044904
Abstract: Evidence of prehistoric dentistry has been limited to a few cases, the most ancient dating back to the Neolithic. Here we report a 6500-year-old human mandible from Slovenia whose left canine crown bears the traces of a filling with beeswax. The use of different analytical techniques, including synchrotron radiation computed micro-tomography (micro-CT), Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating, Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), has shown that the exposed area of dentine resulting from occlusal wear and the upper part of a vertical crack affecting enamel and dentin tissues were filled with beeswax shortly before or after the individual's death. If the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth: this would provide the earliest known direct evidence of therapeutic-palliative dental filling. © 2012, Public Library of Science.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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