The oldest false tooth yet seen in Western Europe may have been pulled from the earth during a 2009 archaeological excavation in northern France, reports BBC News.
The poorly preserved skeleton of a 20- to 30-year-old Iron Age woman, unearthed in Le Chene, suggests that an iron pin filled a place normally held by one of her upper incisors. Although it's not possible to confirm, the pin may have held in place a false wood or bone tooth that rotted away.
The woman's remains were part of a third-century B.C., Celtic burial enclosure that contained four adult females. In total, 31 of the woman's teeth were found in their correct anatomical locations, with the iron pin in the space where an incisor would normally have been.
The pin was the same size and shape as the surrounding teeth. "The best hypothesis is that it was a dental prosthesis, or at least, an attempt at one," Guillaume Seguin, who was in charge of the excavation and works with the Bordeaux archaeology firm Archeosphere, told BBC News.