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  • Cited by 17
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2016
Print publication year:
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Book description

Over millions of years in the fossil record, hominin teeth preserve a high-fidelity record of their own growth, development, wear, chemistry and pathology. They yield insights into human evolution that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve through other sources of fossil or archaeological data. Integrating dental findings with current debates and issues in palaeoanthropology, this book shows how fossil hominin teeth shed light on the origins and evolution of our dietary diversity, extended childhoods, long lifespans, and other fundamental features of human biology. It assesses methods to interpret different lines of dental evidence, providing a critical, practical approach that will appeal to students and researchers in biological anthropology and related fields such as dental science, oral biology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.


'This is an extensively researched and well-written - not to mention much-needed - book on the unsung heroes of human paleontology: teeth. … The author obviously has done her homework and the references in the book are as up to date as they can be in a constantly changing field. I even found some references that I had not yet read and so I learned something, too. This is an informative read for anyone interested in teeth and/or human evolution. The fact that it is clearly written will make it accessible to general readers. But it also provides enough detail, not to mention an extensive literature review, to make it useful for students entering the field of paleoanthropology.'

Shara E. Bailey Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

'The book is designed for undergraduates and non-professionals, but I think that it provides sufficient detail across the breadth of hominin dental studies that it would also offer a good reference piece for professionals and academics that focus on related research topics. …This book would work well in undergraduate courses on human evolution and as a supplementary companion to graduate seminars in related topics.'

James T. Watson Source: Dental Anthropology

'… This highly accessible book has drawn from a wide range of recent findings and publications and presents it in a manner which would definitely appeal to a mixed audience. Reading through, there is a strong sense of narrative, which takes the reader on a seemingly informal tour through hominin dentary science. With this open style and coverage of current literature, this book has appeal to readers from a broad range of specialisms …'

Ben Garrod

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  • Introduction: The Convenient Tooth
    pp 1-8


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