Analysis of 3000 Year Old Dentition: Barbuda, West Indies


Harley Biggs, Izzabella Perini

Faculty Mentor(s)

Steven Hackenberger (Anthropology & Museum Studies), Steve Spencer (Graduate Studies and Research)


The CWU Anthropology Department sponsored a field school in Barbuda-Antigua in 2000. Poorly preserved human remains were discovered eroding into the ocean and rescued by a team of students supervised by Dr. Hackenberger and Mr. Gregg Wilson. A tooth was AMS radiocarbon dated to approximately 3000 years ago. People at this time were among the earliest preceramic settlers in the Eastern Caribbean Islands. In addition to reevaluating the burial positions of the individuals, we have focused our attention on a sample of two dozen teeth from three individuals. Our analysis has included tooth identification and assessment of tooth wear. We are using photography and 3-D imaging and printing to document and replicate the teeth before they are returned to a new heritage center being created in Barbuda. Previous efforts to recover DNA samples from the teeth have not been successful. We are hoping that the University of Oklahoma, Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR), will help us recover DNA from soil samples and/or dental calculus removed from the teeth.

Keywords: Archaeology, Osteology, 3-D Printing


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