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Volume 19 , Issue 5
September/October 2004

Pages 645 - 647

A 5,500-Year-Old Artificial Human Tooth from Egypt: A Historical Note

Joel D. Irish, PhD

PMID: 15508979

Archaeological excavations at a Neolithic cemetery near Gebel Ramlah, Egypt yielded, among other finds, a life-size shell carving of a human tooth. Based on its spatulate crown and large conical root, the tooth most closely emulates a maxillary incisor. The crown’s lingual and labial surfaces are suggestive of a left central incisor, whereas the occlusal view is more reminiscent of a left lateral incisor. The present report details the tooth’s appearance and provides several interpretations concerning its function, including the possibility that it was intended to be a dental implant.

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