Dental maturation of Paranthropus robustus from Swartkrans: an isotopic perspective

Prof. Andrew Sillen, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Brooklyn College, New York will present the Department of Archaeology Seminar with a talk entitled, "Dental maturation of  Paranthropus robustus from Swartkrans: an isotopic perspective"

Patterns of hominid growth expressed through dental maturation, anatomy and wear have been the subject of study and debate for over 40 years.  Considerable study has sought specifically to address the question of the hominid vs. pongid growth pattern of P. robustus.  One well-established difference between human and ape growth is that in apes, canine and third molar enamel overlap in the timing of calcification, whereas in humans they do not.  In this study, I use available 87Sr/86Sr data from eight canine specimens and seven M3 specimens of P. robustus from Swartkrans Member I to show that that canines and M3s have not calcified during similar periods in juvenile growth.  Therefore an ape-like dental development pattern seems unlikely for this species.  Implications for ascertaining the residence patterns of early hominids are also discussed.

About the speaker

Andrew Sillen was formerly Director of Development at UCT and before that,  Professor and Head of the Department of Archaeology. A major focus of his research during this time was strontium and strontium isotopes in bones and teeth for palaeodietary reconstruction.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 13:00

Teaching Studio 3.10, Beattie Building, Upper Campus, UCT