Benoit Bertrand

MaCABRE - Micro-analysis of Cementum - Archive for Biological Recorded Events

  • Supervisor: Martine Vercauteren
  • Research center: Anthropologie et génétique humaine
  • Research start date: 01.02.2020


Behind the acronym MaCABRE lies the living project aiming to decode a biological archive to date life history parameters from human remains.
Dental cementum covering the tooth root is incrementally deposited throughout life and does not undergo a remodelling process. Consequently, the method for age-at-death estimation based on its annual deposition is acknowledged for its superior performance. Therefore, the potential of this dental tissue is far from being fully exploited. As demonstrated on animal, modification of calcium metabolism during pregnancies influences cementogenesis resulting in hypomineralized deposits. Decrypting the cementum archive is crucial to identify individual patterns of reproduction such as age at first pregnancy, number of pregnancies and intervals between pregnancies. This has fundamental implications in Forensic Anthropology to assist identification and in Bioarchaeology to access reproductive behaviour.


Bertrand B., Cunha E., Bécart A., Gosset D., Hédouin, V. Age at death estimation by cementochronology: too precise to be true or too precise to be accurate? American journal of Physical Anthropology. (2019). 10.1002/ajpa.23849

Bertrand B., Age at death estimation by cementochronology - Somewhere between indifference and overconfidence. Forensic Science International. (2019). 

Bertrand B., Cémentochronologie, précision et exactitude de l’estimation de l’âge au décès chez l’adulte. Cementochronology, precision and accuracy of adult age at death estimation. Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'Anthropologie de Paris. (2019). 

Colombo A., D’Ortenzio L., Bertrand B., Coqueugniot H., Knüsel C.J., Kahlon B., Brickley M., Micro-computed Tomography of Teeth as an Alternative Way to Detect and Analyse Vitamin D Deficiency, Journal of Archaeological Science. (2019).

Vialet A., Bertrand B., Champalle C., Bermudez de Castro J.-M., Modesto-Mata M., Martinon-Torres M., Martinez de Pinillos M., Cecilia García Campos, Collard T. Re-examination of “ancient” fossils discovered in the middle of the 20th century. Hominins from the end of the Middle Pleistocene from the Montmaurin caves (southwest of France). Actes du XVIII° congrès de l’Union Internationale des Sciences Préhistoriques et Protohistoriques. (2019).

Pélissier A., Bertrand B., Le Bailly M., Landolt M., La fouille inédite du Kilianstollen à Carspach (Haut-Rhin, Alsace) : des réflexions méthodologiques pluridisciplinaires au service de l’identification de 21 soldats allemands de la première guerre mondiale, Actes du Gaaf, Rencontre autour de nos aïeux. (2019).

Colard T., Bertrand B., Naji S., Delannoy Y., Bécart A., Toward the adoption of cementochronology in forensic context, International Journal of Legal Medicine. (2018) : 1–8. doi:10.1007/s00414-015-1172-8.

Brickley M.B., D’Ortenzio L., Kahlon B., Schattmann A., Ribot I., Raguin E., Bertrand B., Ancient Vitamin D Deficiency: Long-Term Trends, Current Anthropology. 58 (2017) : 420–427. doi:10.1086/691683.

D’Ortenzio L., Ribot I., Bertrand B., Kahlon B., Bocaege E., Raguin E., Schattmann A., Brickley M., The Rachitic Tooth: The Use of Radiographs as a Screening Technique, International Journal of Paleopathology (2017) : 1–11.

Bertrand B., Robbins Schug G., Polet C., Naji S., Colard T., Age-at-death estimation of pathological individuals: A complementary approach using teeth cementum annulations, International Journal of Paleopathology. 15 (2016) : 120–127. doi:10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.04.001.

Schattmann A., Bertrand B., Vatteoni S., Brickley M., Approaches to co-occurrence: Scurvy and rickets in infants and young children of 16-18th century Douai, France, International Journal of Paleopathology. 12 (2016) : 63–75. doi:10.1016/j.ijpp.2015.12.002.

Naji S., Colard T., Blondiaux J., Bertrand B., d’Incau E., J.P. Bocquet-Appel, Cementochronology, to cut or not to cut?, International Journal of Paleopathology. 15 (2016) : 113–119. doi:10.1016/j.ijpp.2014.05.003.

Colard T., Falgayrac G., Bertrand B., Naji S., Devos O., Balsack C., Delannoy Y., Penel G., New Insights on the Composition and the Structure of the Acellular Extrinsic Fiber Cementum by Raman Analysis, Plos One. 11 (2016) e0167316. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0167316.

D’Ortenzio L., Ribot I., Raguin E., Schattmann A., Bertrand B., Kahlon B., Brickley M., The rachitic tooth: A histological examination, Journal of Archaeological Science. (2016) : 1–12. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2016.06.006.

Book section

Bertrand B., Santos I., Cunha E., Cementochronology: A validated but disregarded method for age at death estimation. In: Age Estimation: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Elsevier; 2019

Polet C., Carlier A., Doyen L., Lebecque F., Tilleux C., Bertrand B., et al. Multidisciplinary study of the reliquary contents attributed to the bishop Jacques de Vitry (12-13th C. AD). In: Van Strydonck J, Reyniers J, Van Cleven J, editors. Relics @ the Lab: An Analytical Approach to the Study of Relics, 2019

Becam G., Bertrand B., Colard T., Lumley de M.A., Caractéristiques endostructurales des couronnes des dents du Lazaret (Nice, France). In: Les restes humains fossiles de la grotte du Lazaret, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes. Des Homo erectus européens évolués en voie de néandertalisation ;CNRS Éditions ; 2018 : 385-410.