The aim of the present study was to investigate the possibility of estimating crown formation times of immature deciduous teeth and age at death in Neolithic newborns. In the Neolithic-Mesolithic transition, the health of the population deteriorated. Leaving the intrauterine environment for the newborn is the first obstacle in the process of adaptation and survival in the outside world. The fetus is protected by the mother's immune system and receives the necessary nutrients through the umbilical cord, but external factors indirectly affect its development. At birth deciduous teeth are not fully formed and are only partially mineralized. Variations in the rhythmic activity of ameloblasts and the secretion of the enamel matrix lead to the formation of incremental lines in the enamel. The sample consisted of unerupted deciduous teeth removed from the baby jaws from Neolithic archaeological graves, LepenskiVir Serbia. The skeletal age of the babies was from 38 to 40 gestational weeks. The daily enamel apposition rate was obtained for each tooth. The age of individuals was estimated using crown formation time. The average value of daily secretion rates for the primary teeth from the Neolithic age was 3.78 μm.There was no statistically significant difference in age at death determined by skeletal age assessment and crown formation time. Three babies were born preterm. The results of the present study show that the calculation of the time required for the formation of deciduous tooth enamel is applicable to archaeological samples of newborns.The age estimation using crown formation time together with the analysis of other anthropological parameters, can contribute to a more accurate determination of neonatal death in anthropological, archaeological and forensic contexts.
KEY WORDS: Deciduous teeth; Dental enamel; Age estimation; Incremental lines.
SIPOVAC, M.; PETROVIC, B.; KOJIC, S.; PANTELINAC, J.; PENEZIC, K.; CAPO, I. & STEFANOVIC, S. Crown formation times of deciduous teeth and age at death in Neolithic newborns. Int. J. Morphol., 39(3):780-784, 2021.