Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Coverage Continues: 13,000-Year-Old Teeth May Contain Earliest Evidence Of Fillings
The Daily Mail reports that researchers have discovered in 13,000-year-old front teeth what may be “the earliest example of the use of a filling.” Each tooth, found in northern Italy, has a “hole that extends down to the pulp chamber” the article reports. According to the article, tiny scratch marks inside the holes suggest a sharp stone was used “to remove diseased cavity tissue,” before the holes with then filled “with the tar-like substance bitumen.” The article reports that “the discovery of bitumen suggests the procedure was done out of medical necessity to remove decayed matter from the teeth and prevent further loss.” The findings are published in a paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
International Business Times reports the teeth with bitumen filling are “one of the oldest pieces of evidence of ancient dentistry.”
Ancient Origins (4/9, Karasavvas) reports the find may be “the world’s most ancient dental fillings.”