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Native Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area: Patterns in Ancient Teeth, Palimpsests of Behavior
Master's Theses
  • Dave Grant, San Jose State University
Publication Date
Degree Type
Degree Name
Master of Science (MS)
Environmental Studies
Rachel O'Malley
  • Bioarchaeology,
  • Dental
Subject Areas
NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA: PATTERNS IN ANCIENT TEETH; PALIMPSESTS OF BEHAVIOR by Dave Grant In analyzing burial populations from seven sites in the Santa Clara Valley, patterns on teeth were found that did not conform to the flat normative wear explanation. This study attempts to expand upon the seminal work of Molnar (1968), Hinton (1981), and Keiser (2001a, 2001b) and to propose a definitional refinement of wear patterns found on teeth from populations in Central California. Flat normative wear was present. In addition, four additional distinct wear patterns were found. Wear patterns include slants and scoops on posterior teeth and rounding and grooving on anterior teeth. Statistically significant differences were identified between an older (4,000-2930BP) northern population and younger (2200BP-250BP) populations from the Santa Clara Valley. Analysis of the southern population suggests that these individuals did not utilize their teeth as frequently to produce patterned wear and suggests an elite class that was exempt from normal processing activities. The percentage of slants, rounding, and scoops all increased through time from the older, northern population to the younger, southern populations. Males exhibited more flat wear and more slant wear than females. Southern males had more slant wear than females and were evenly split on the rounding pattern. Scoops, which may be related to arrow shaft processing or peeling, are overwhelmingly found in the southern population after the adoption of the bow and arrow in this area. Further research is called for to further refine and define these processes.
Citation Information
Dave Grant. "Native Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area: Patterns in Ancient Teeth, Palimpsests of Behavior" (2010)
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