The aim of the study is the assessment of Nadale 1, a Neanderthal deciduous tooth recently discovered in Northeastern Italy in the De Nadale cave (Middle Palaeolithic). Together with the clear archaeological context of the site, this study brings new insight on Neanderthal behavior and dental morphological variability.
Materials and methods
We used microCT data to provide a morphological description and morphometric analysis (diameter measurements and dental tissue volumes) of the Nadale 1 human tooth. Microwear analysis, taphonomical investigation and caries identification were performed using a stereomicroscope and Scanning Electron Microscope.
In terms of morphology (i.e., incipient tuberculum molare, marked mesial marginal ridge and well-developed mid-trigonid crest connecting the protoconid and the metaconid, deep anterior fovea) and size, Nadale 1 presents features frequently observed in Neanderthal lower first deciduous molars. Microscope investigations reveal the presence of a small pit which could be correlated to an incipient caries.
Nadale 1 expands the Italian Middle Palaeolithic fossil record and provides further information on Neanderthal dm1s in terms of dimensional and morphological variability. Furthermore, the presence of an incipient caries brings further data on Neanderthal diet.
- Arnaud, J., Benazzi, S., Romandini, M., Livraghi, A., Panetta, D., Salvadori, P.A., Volpe, L., & Peresani, M. (2016). A Neanderthal deciduous human molar with incipient carious infection from the Middle Palaeolithic De Nadale cave, Italy. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, in press, in press.
Peoples: Neanderthals | Places: De Nadale cave and Italy | Topics: Middle Palaeolithic | DNA Type: -