Modern deciduous human teeh: the Ratón Pérez collection
Personal identification of an unknown deceased individual is crucial in our society for both legal and humanitarian reasons. Therefore, human skeletal collections are an important source of information for physical anthropologists to establish and develop rigorous methods to obtain reliable data on the individual under study. A few dental and osteological reference samples exist (Dayal et al., 2009; Voisin et al., 2012), but due to the current low early mortality rate, none of them contain large numbers of infants and young children of the 21st century. Because of their hardness, teeth are often the best preserved skeletal remains in natural conditions (burials), as well as in deaths (accidents, armed conflicts, violent crimes) or natural disasters (earthquakes, floods). Each individual possesses unique dental characteristics that can be used to retrieve useful information for both anthropological and paleoanthropological fields (e.g., age, sex, stress events, diet) relevant to individual identification (Krishan et al., 2015; Martin-Francés et al., 2014). Since deciduous teeth are most of the time disregarded, the main goal of this project was to create a large reference collection that could be used by scientists from various disciplines such as archaeology, forensic anthropology, dental and oral medicine, and paleoanthropological studies, among others, to obtain relevant information (Martínez de Pinillos et al., 2021). The aim of this communication is to make known to the research community the existence and availability of this expired dental collection held at the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, Spain, of identified children born during the 21st century.