Morphological and metric description of a rare Mesolithic deciduous tooth from Trail Creek Caves, Alaska Abbreviated title: Ancient deciduous tooth from Trail Creek, Alaska

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Charlotte Primeau
Lasse Vinner
Verner Alexandersen


This study describes a morphologic and metric examination of a rare human deciduous maxillary left central incisor from Trail Creek, Alaska, radiocarbon dated to 8085 ±40 BP, from ancient Beringia. The tooth is compared to the maxillary incisors from the deciduous dentition of USR1 from central Alaska. Genetic analysis of the Trail Creek child as well as the USR1 child showed that they both belonged to an ancient eastern Beringian population that remained isolated in present-day Alaska during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The tooth was measured using a sliding calliper and the morphology of the tooth described directly from macroscopic evaluation as well as from a 3D surface scan. Based on tooth development the age of the Trail Creek child corresponds to an age of 1-1.5 years. The sex of the child cannot be positively assessed purely based on tooth morphology, but tooth size indicates a female which was confirmed from the genetic analysis. The tooth showed the basal morphology for deciduous maxillary central incisors known already from late Pleistocene and early Holocene without marked shovel shape.


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