“Brings together studies from diverse time periods and geographic regions to deliver a comprehensive biocultural treatment of dental modification. The volume amply documents the diversity of ways humans modify their teeth and the variety of reasons they may do so.”—Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, author of What Teeth Reveal about Human Evolution
Tooth modification is the longest-lasting type of body modification and the most widespread in the archaeological record. It has been practiced throughout many time periods and on every occupied continent and conveys information about individual people, their societies, and their relationships to others. A World View of Bioculturally Modified Teeth presents the wide spectrum of intentional dental modification in humans across the globe over the past 16,000 years.
These essays draw on research from the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Europe. Through archaeological studies, historical and ethnographic sources, and observations of contemporary people, contributors examine instances of tooth filing, notching, inlays, dyeing, and removal. They discuss how to distinguish between these purposeful modifications of teeth and normal wear and tear or disease while demonstrating what patterns of tooth modification can reveal about people and their cultures in the past and present.
Scott E. Burnett is professor of anthropology at Eckerd College. Joel D. Irish, professor of bioarchaeology at Liverpool John Moores University and professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is coauthor or coeditor of several books, including A Companion to Dental Anthropology.