Author

Clare McVeigh

Date of Award

7-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Anthropology

Supervisor

Dr. Shelley R. Saunders

Abstract

A considerable amount of research has been undertaken in the area of variability in the timing of human tooth formation. While many researchers acknowledge environmental influences have an impact on dental eruption , differences in the timing of human tooth formation are usually attributed to genetic factors. This thesis, however, investigates the impact of environmental and behavioural influences on the timing and duration of tooth formation by comparing four groups of close biological affinity. Dental development of the Spitalfields sample (18th-19th century London) was found to be retarded in relation to the Poundbury (Romano British), Belleville (19th century Canadian) and Burlington (modern Canadian) samples. Furthermore, tooth size was significantly smaller for the Spitalfields sample. It is argued that these two factors are indicative of environmental stress in the form of poor nutrition and high pathogen load.

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