Studia Geophysica et Geodaetica

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 310–317 | Cite as

First evidence of complex dental practice about 1300 BP in Mesoamerica revealed by absolute geomagnetic intensity

  • Avto GoguitchaichviliEmail author
  • Juan Morales
  • Ramiro Aguayo Haro
  • Humberto Quiroz Castañon
  • Jasinto Robles Camacho


Deliberated dental modifications and mutilations are known since prehistoric times. The Mayas and other ancient cultures in Mesoamerica were considered pioneers of such practice. The evidences of therapeutic intervention, however, are still poorly documented and credible examples are extremely scarce. One of the burials excavated at the locality of La Mina (Michoacan, Mexico) corresponds to a 30-35 year old male individual named Alvaro, who presented a well-marked dental deformation. Moreover, Alvaro had a quite deep and symmetrical perforation in the upper right canine–a treatment similar to the procedure of endodontics or root canal. The archaeological context of Alvaro’s habitat was dated using the archaeomagnetic method applied to pottery samples unambiguously correlated to the burial. The analysis supplied a time interval between 647 and 825 AD suggesting the first evidence of complex dental practice in the Americas.


archaeomagnetism ancient Mesoamerica prehispanic dentistry archaeomagnetic dating 


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geophysics of the ASCR, v.v.i 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Avto Goguitchaichvili
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan Morales
    • 1
  • Ramiro Aguayo Haro
    • 2
  • Humberto Quiroz Castañon
    • 2
  • Jasinto Robles Camacho
    • 2
  1. 1.Servicio Arqueomagnético Nacional, Instituto de Geofisica, Unidad MichoacanUniversidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Campus MoreliaMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e HistoriaDelegacion MichoacanMoreliaMexico

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