School of Anthropology & Conservation

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Christopher Aris

An examination of enamel microevolution over the last 2000 years of human history

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

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My PhD research involves looking into growth rates, interior structures and morphology of permanent human enamel of individuals from time periods spanning the last 2000 years of human history through histological methods.

I am currently working with over half a dozen human populations, all excavated or sourced from various locations in Britain. These remains represent past human societies which date from multiple historic time periods, notably those from the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Early Medieval and Late Medieval periods, alongside clinical modern samples. My research involves the extensive study of incisors, canines and molars, from both the mandible and maxilla, from each of the listed populations.

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a BSc in Biological Anthropology (2:1) from the University of Kent and an MSc in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology (Distinction) from the University of Sheffield. My BSc dissertation involved studying the effects of stress on juvenile skeletal development. My MSc thesis focused on creating a method of determining sex from juvenile skeletal remains from permanent molars: I am currently working on writing this research up for publication.

Pre-sectioned upper first molar from an early Roman excavation. Photo: Christopher Aris.

Pre-sectioned upper first molar from an early Roman excavation.

Photo: Christopher Aris.

Histology cross section of the crown of the same Roman molar observed under a polarised lens. Photo: Christopher Aris.

Histology cross section of the crown of the same Roman molar observed under a polarised lens.

Photo: Christopher Aris.

 

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Last Updated: 31/10/2017