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Brief Communication: The Distribution of Perikymata on Qafzeh Anterior Teeth

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Don Reid


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Recent studies have suggested that Neandertals and modern humans differ in the distribution of perikymata (enamel growth increments) over their permanent anterior tooth crowns. In modern humans, perikymata become increasingly more compact toward the cervix than they do in Neandertals. Previous studies have suggested that a more homogeneous distribution of perikymata, like that of Neandertals, characterizes the anterior teeth of Homo heidelbergensis and Homo erectus as well. Here, we investigated whether Qafzeh anterior teeth (N = 14) differ from those of modern southern Africans, northern Europeans, and Alaskans (N = 47-74 depending on tooth type) in the percentage of perikymata present in their cervical halves. Using the normally distributed modern human values for each tooth type, we calculated Z-scores for the 14 Qafzeh teeth. All but two of the 14 Qafzeh teeth had negative Z-scores, meaning that values equal to these would be found in the bottom 50% of the modern human samples. Seven of the 14 would be found in the lowest 5% of the modern human distribution. Qafzeh teeth therefore appear to differ from those of modern humans in the same direction that Neandertals do: with generally lower percentages of perikymata in their cervical regions. The similarity between them appears to represent the retention of a perikymata distribution pattern present in earlier members of the genus Homo, but not generally characteristic of modern humans from diverse regions of the world. Am J Phys Anthropol 141:152-157, 2010. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guatelli-Steinberg D, Reid DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Year: 2010

Volume: 141

Issue: 1

Pages: 152-157

ISSN (print): 0002-9483

ISSN (electronic): 1096-8644

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.21158


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