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Homo. 2004;54(3):229-39.

Two Gravettian human deciduous teeth from Grub/Kranawetberg, lower Austria.

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Anthropologische Abteilung, Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien, Osterreich.


In this paper we present two heavily eroded tooth fragments found in Grub/Kranawetberg, a Gravettian excavation site near Stillfried, Lower Austria. Both fragments were found during wet screening of sediment taken from an area near a hearth. Overall, the cultural layer yielded a large number of stone tools and flakes as well as bony points and over sixty bone beads and bone bead fragments. They point to an absolute date of 24,400 to 25,400 BP. We present a description of the tooth fragments and identify them as remains of an early modern human. One of the fragments is a deciduous right first lower molar (84) and the other a deciduous left lateral upper incisor (62). Due to their characteristic shape and size, as well as the degree of attrition, both teeth could have belonged to one single individual--a possibility consistent with their position in the stratigraphic column. The incisor could be compared for its metrical dimensions to the few other contemporaneous Upper Palaeolithic findings showing an insignificantly smaller dimension in mesio-distal and bucco-lingual dimensions. Although the remains are limited they increase our very small sample of deciduous teeth for this time period, which is essential for a better understanding of possible evolutionary trends from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Mesolithic.

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