This paper will focus on the variation in deliberate ante-mortem tooth modification through archaeological, anthropological and ethnographic examples. Non-deliberate dental alteration will be discussed as a means of differentiating deliberate, culturally driven modifications, from accidental or occupationally related change. Teeth will often survive better than bone in archaeological contexts. With this in mind, this work will consider the classification and appearance of dental modification and the motivations for such practices. This study will also attempt to highlight the potential in dental anthropology for the identification of status indicators, cultural markers and other indications of past human behaviour in archaeological dental remains. Suggestions will be made for the possibilities of future studies in this area.
Keywords: dental modification, teeth, dental
How to Cite:
Mower, J., (1999) “Deliberate ante-mortem dental modification and its implications in archaeology, ethnography and anthropology”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 10, 37-53. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/pia.137