archeology and dentistry

Dental Archeology

This interesting article is about dental archeology ancient dentistry

A 6,500-year-old tooth packed with beeswax could represent the
earliest evidence of a dental filling, newly-published research has

Found in part of a human jaw excavated in a cave near Lonche,
Slovenia, the tooth is a left canine, thought to have belonged to a
man aged between 24 and 30.(dental archeology)

Research led by Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz of the Abdus
Salam Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy examined a vertical
crack in the tooth, which had been filled with a resinous substance.

Now analysis published in the journal PLOS ONE has revealed this to be
beeswax, possibly used to alleviate pain and sensitivity when chewing
on the broken tooth.

The team used a range of scientific techniques including 3-D
high-resolution x-rays, radiocarbon dating, and infrared spectroscopy,
to determine the age and composition of the filling. They suggested
that the wax may have had a therapeutic purpose, though they could not
rule out it being applied after the individual’s death.

‘This finding is perhaps the most ancient evidence of prehistoric
dentistry in Europe, and the earliest known direct example of
therapeutic-palliative dental filling so far,’ said Federico
Bernardini. ‘Bee products were used by prehistoric communities for
technological, artistic, and medical purposes, but it is thanks to the
Lonche finding that we can now imagine people doing dentistry in
Neolithic Europe.’


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