MAS-100008: MAS-100008; Northumberland; Mammal Remains; Image 3 of 4

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Unique ID: MAS-100008

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

This tooth is a cattle (Bos spp) molar from the upper jaw. It has four crescentic cusps (polycuspid) forming a square crown, as well as four root elements. These characteristics are typical of selenodont teeth which are found in ruminant herbivores (e.g. cattle, goats, sheep, or deer). Viewed from the side, the crown of the tooth forms triangular profiles which, in combination with ridges, makes the sideways jaw motion of ruminants an effective way to break-up tough plant matter. Thus their function as crushing and grinding teeth.

The alternating layers of enamel, dentine and cementum are exposed. The surface of the neck of the tooth is white and grey, however, there is also a distinct bluish tinge to parts of the tooth that may indicate the presence of the iron phosphate mineral, vivianite. The presence of vivianite attached to bones is generally accepted as evidence of subfossil status.

Providing a relative date for this tooth is challenging as there are numerous reasons as to why it has not fully fossilised. It may be that not enough time has elapsed since the animal died, or the conditions in which the remains were deposited may not have been optimal for fossilisation. While the domestication of cattle occurred approximately 10,500 years ago in the Near East, it is generally accepted that domesticated cattle first appeared in England during the Neolithic (circa 4,000 BC) (Lynch et al. 2008).

Class: Ecofacts
Sub class: Vertebrate remains

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: With finder
Subsequent action after recording: Submitted as wreck to the Receiver of Wreck


Broad period: UNKNOWN
Period from: NEOLITHIC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st January 2015

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: M F
Identified by: V L
Secondary identifier: L H

Materials and construction

Primary material: Animal skeletal material
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

County or Unitary authority: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: NZ3279
Four figure Latitude: 55.1043857
Four figure longitude: -1.50000143
1:25K map: NZ3279
1:10K map: NZ37NW
Display four figure position on What3Words
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Coastal walking
Discovery circumstances: Coastal walking
Current location: With finder
General landuse: Coastland
Specific landuse: Inter-tidal

References cited

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Audit data

Recording Institution: MAS
Created: Monday 12th September 2016
Updated: Tuesday 27th September 2016

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