Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Sociology and Anthropology
David A. Byers
David A. Byers
Archaeologists use teeth to estimate the age an animal died based on tooth eruption, growth, and wear. Animal age estimations then inform archaeologists about when and why archaeological sites were occupied. However, to date, no concise and repeatable practice exists to age estimate teeth. Therefore, we propose a new tooth age estimation methodology, in this case using bison teeth. The new tooth aging method uses GIS mapping software to draw tooth surfaces and then calculate tooth surface areas of known-age bison teeth. Then, this known-age tooth sample is used to derive algebraic equations that can estimate the age of prehistoric specimens. To test our age prediction models, we use the well-known Folsom, New Mexico bison tooth assemblage. Overall, the new method provides statistical insights to how often Folsom may have been occupied and which type of hunting behavior appears to have occurred. Most importantly, the new model has the potential to provide a wealth of information about past bison hunting behaviors and may greatly improve our understanding of prehistory.
Owens, Andrew Edward, "Aging Bison Teeth With a GIS: A New Tooth Age Prediction Methodology and its Archaeological and Ecological Implications" (2022). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 8595.
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