Background During archaeological excavation, carried out in the S. Francesco Monastery at Lucca (Tuscany, Italy), a golden dental appliance was discovered. The prosthesis was found, together with commingled human remains, in the collective tomb of the aristocratic family of the Guinigi, a powerful family who governed Lucca from 1392 until 1429. The exact archaeological dating of the prosthesis was not possible, but some elements suggest a dating to the beginning of the 17th century.Purpose Aim of the paper is to study and describe the dental appliance trough a multidisciplinary approach.Materials and Methods Macroscopical and micro-CT examinations were performed to investigate the technics used for the realization of the dental prosthesis. SEM analysis was performed to study alloy composition of the metallic fixing lamina and microstructure of the deposits on the dental surface.Results The dental prosthesis consists in five mandibular teeth: three central incisors and two lateral canines linked together by a golden band inserted into the dental roots to replace the anterior arch of the jaw. Micro-CT scan revealed the presence of two small golden pins inserted into each tooth crossing the root and fixing the teeth to the internal gold band. SEM examination of the lamina indicated a homogeneous composition, with average contents of 73 wt% gold, 15.6 wt% Ag, and 11.4 wt% Cu. Apposition of dental calculus on the teeth indicated that the prosthesis had been worn for a long period.Conclusions This dental prosthesis provides a unique finding of technologically advanced dentistry in this period. In fact, during the Early Modern Age, some authors described gold band technology for the replacement of missing teeth; nevertheless, no direct evidences of these devices have been brought to light up so far.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.