Secrets Stashed in Dental Impacta: Best Practices

Author(s): Linda Scott Cummings; R. A. Varney

Year: 2017


Material from the root canal of a teen male from Jamestown was removed for study including microscopic analysis.  Examination of the material, transported on sealed slides to PaleoResearch Institute, yielded starches, fungal hyphae, pollen, and fibers.  Options for safe transport and transfer of materials to working microscope slides are discussed.  Principals of microscopy, including having no air in the working light path between the microscope slide and the coverslip, are important to successful analysis.  Use of light microscopy, cross-polar illumination, and phase contrast were important in identification of the remains.  Images of remains using each of these techniques is illustrated.  Results of this study are discussed while addressing best practices. 

Cite this Record

Secrets Stashed in Dental Impacta: Best Practices. Linda Scott Cummings, R. A. Varney. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435307)


Temporal Keywords
17th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 726