A 5,500-Year-Old Artificial Human Tooth from Egypt: A Historical Note
Joel D. Irish, PhD
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.