Dental wear patterns in early modern humans from Skhul and Qafzeh: A response to Luca Fiorenza and Ottmar Kullmer

Rachel Sarig, Anne marie Tillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is common knowledge, that in archaic populations teeth could have been used as tools, such behavior can be studied by evaluating occlusal attrition patterns. Fiorenza and Kullmer suggested a digital approach to distinguish between masticatory and non-masticatory wear facets in archaic and modern populations. In their last response to our letter (Fiorenza and Kullmer, 2015), they used comparative modern samples to demonstrate that described para-facets in Skhul and Qafzeh individuals could not have been produced by dental occlusal anomalies and also since they claimed that more than 50% of the sample analyzed in their study are characterized by para-facets, it is highly unlikely to be the result of dental pathologies. What the authors neglected to mention is that misalignment of teeth and/or malocclusion features in the Qafzeh specimens for example are present in 55.5% of the individuals, and therefore, malocclusions should be at least reconsidered as a possible cause for the para-facets formation. Also, dental cross-bite may involve functional shift and mandibular deflection and therefore, should also be considered as a possible cause for untypical occlusal contacts. In the current reply, we indicate the disadvantages of the occlusal fingerprints analysis in archaic fragmented samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-87
Number of pages3
JournalHOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology


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