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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018 / Deciduous Molar Morphology from the Neolithic Caves of the Meuse River Basin, Belgium

Frank L'Engle Williams, Rebecca L. George and Caroline Polet (2018)

Deciduous Molar Morphology from the Neolithic Caves of the Meuse River Basin, Belgium

Dental Anthropology, 31(2):18-26.

The karstic caves of the Meuse River Basin in Belgium preserve nearly 200 collective burials dating to the late Neolithic period. Among these, the cave burials of Hastière Caverne M, Sclaigneaux, Bois Madame and Maurenne Caverne de la Cave are represented by numerous individuals and radio-carbon dated to circa 4,635 to 3,830 years B.P. Dental casts from mandibular and maxillary deciduous molars are scored using multiple methods to provide a regional overview of the prevalence and expres-sion of deciduous molar crown traits, and to compare frequencies between cave burial sites with a focus on temporal differentiation. Carabelli’s trait varies from a small pit to a full cusp, the largest of which are found at Hastière Caverne M. The hypoconulid ranges from moderately large to very large. A meta-conulid is absent or small. Although the results are contingent on idiosyncratic preservation, differences in the frequencies of expression of Carabelli’s trait, a pronounced hypoconulid, and the presence of a metaconule and protostylid separate the earlier cave burial at Hastière Caverne M from the final/late Neolithic sites of Sclaigneaux and Bois Madame.
International Redaction Board, Impact Factor, RBINS Collection(s)
Belgium, Neolithic, Paleodontology
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