Publication details

Human teeth pendants from the Mid-Upper Paleolithic sites Pavlov I and Dolní Věstonice I, Czech Republic



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Gravettian; Human remains; Body ornamentation; Central Europe; Perforation technique; Mortuary practice
Description This paper focuses on a special case of mortuary habit in the treatment of human bodies during the Upper Paleolithic. Human teeth present a good available raw material source; however, until now, 12 Czech and French sites have been identified with human teeth pendants dated from the Aurignacian to the Magdalenian. Our study investigates four human teeth (Pav 15, Pav 25, Pav 39, and DV 8) from Pavlov I and Dolní Věstonice I that display perforations in the root area. This paper aims at distinguishing traces of human manipulation and perforation activities from traces caused by non-human depositional and post-depositional processes. Furthermore, broad paleoanthropological and archeological approaches were undertaken to understand the possible functional and symbolic meaning of these objects. The habit of functional usage and wearing human remains encompasses a comprehensive spectrum of analogies in human prehistory and recent ethnology.
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