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Dental anthropology played a seminal role in early studies of the peopling of the New World, and was a foundation of the early three wave model proposed by Greenberg, Turner and Zegura. In recent years, however, developments in anthropological genetics, craniometry, and archaeological discoveries have largely omit-ted dental anthropology from debates regarding Native American origins. Here we consider this situation and reassert dental anthropology's relevance to the topic by presenting an inter-individual analysis of Paleoindian and Paleoamerican dentitions. A small set of dental morphological variables was used to estimate Gower similarity coefficients between individual specimens. The resulting similarity matrix was ordinated using multidimensional scaling; all analyses were per-formed in Clustan v. 7.05. While results should be considered preliminary, patterns of variation suggest morphological similarity along both coasts of North and South America with a somewhat distinct grouping of North American Paleoindians deriving from more inland portions of the continent. This pattern is consistent with recent genetic scenarios, notably the bicoastal model presented by O'Rourke and Raff (2010), which indicates that Paleoindians may have taken multiple migration routes from Beringia, moving along both coasts as well as through the ice free corridor. Future studies may build on this work to reintegrate dental data and analysis into research concerning the peopling of the New World.


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Authors retain copyright and full publishing rights without restrictions under the CC BY license. Originally published in the journal Dental Anthropology.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.