A Comparison of Tooth Structure in Neanderthals and Early Homo sapiens sapiens: A Radiographic Study Academic Article uri icon


  • Tooth components of 1st and 2nd erupted permanent molars were measured from standardised radiographs of Homo sapiens sapiens and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Enamel height was greater in Homo sapiens sapiens but pulp height and width and the height of the enamel to floor of the pulp chamber were greater in Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. Dentine height, crown width and enamel width showed similar results in the two groups. Unerupted first molars were measured to analyse the influence of function on tooth components and the results obtained were always within the range measured for the erupted teeth. Discriminant analysis between groups, using tooth components, showed accuracy of 93% for identification of Homo sapiens sapiens and 94% for identification of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. The results support the hypothesis of a distinct evolutionary line for the Neanderthals.

publication date

  • July 1, 1992