CARTA: Dental Ablation and Facial Piercing in Late Pleistocene Southwestern Asia and Africa with John Willman

2/28/2024; 19 minutes

Bioarchaeological studies of Pleistocene populations, examining practices like tooth ablation, facial piercing, and cranial modification, contribute to our understanding of social identities and population dynamics. Recent analyses of Ohalo II H2 in southwestern Asia and Oldupai Hominid 1 in Tanzania reveal dental evidence of intentional body modifications. Ohalo II H2 likely represents the earliest case of intentional incisor ablation in Southwest Asia, a common practice in Iberomaurusian and Natufian cultures. Oldupai Hominid 1 exhibits dental wear suggestive of facial piercings, a previously unknown practice in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene East Africa. These early cases shed light on the cultural practices and social identities of Pleistocene populations. (#39468)

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