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Dental Anthropology Of Early Egypt And Nubia
Published 1972 · Geography
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Abstract A survey of dental anthropological literature dealing with the ancient populations of Egypt and Nubia reveals that until recently little information was available. Recent salvage archaeology behind and in the vicinity of the New High Aswan Dam has considerably increased the volume of information. Using this material, an analysis of the dental morphology of ancient Egyptian and Nubian populations (Badarian, Merotic, X-Group and Christian) indicates that the Nile corridor showed considerable biological continuity through space and time and that there is little evidence for mass movements of intrusive peoples into the area as is sometimes argued. The dentitions of recently excavated Sudanese Mesolithic populations and those of early historic Nubian groups (Meroitic in particular) are used to test and partially confirm D.L. Greene's evolutionary hypothesis that contends reduction in tooth size and complexity since the end of the Pleistocene are best explained through selection for caries resistant teeth (i.e. those with simpler fissure patterns) in increasingly cariogenic environments after the Neolithic, rather than via C. L. Brace's Probable Mutation Effect.