School of Anthropology & Conservation

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Christopher Aris

Enamel growth variation in modern history and its impact on ageing juvenile skeletal remains

Supervisor(s): Dr Chris Deter (Main) and Dr Patrick Mahoney

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My research involves looking into the development and growth of enamel in deciduous teeth of juvenile individuals from time periods spanning the last 2000 years of human history. I will be analysing remains from multiple archaeological excavations, notably those from the Roman, Early Medieval and Late Medieval periods, alongside clinical modern samples. I am focusing on the developmental period of enamel between birth and the age of 6 years, and isolating the first and second deciduous molar, the earliest developing teeth within the jaw.

My analysis will involve producing a number of longitudinal histological cross-sections of these teeth, in order to assess the developmental patterns of enamel which existed within each of my isolated time periods. I will then compare data from each period in order to identify any variation which exists therein. This research is unique in that it isolates recent human history, a time which is highly underresearched in regards to variations in dental development, as well as being unusual in its inclusion of clinical samples of human dentition.

Histology cross section image of surface enamel, including Retzius and Neonatal line.

Histology cross section image of surface enamel, including Retzius and Neonatal line.

Photo: Rosie Pitfield

Histology cross section image of surface enamel, observed under a polarised lens.

Histology cross section image of surface enamel, observed under a polarised lens.

Photo: Rosie Pitfield

 

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Last Updated: 05/12/2016