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AbstractThe study of dental casts taken from living people avoids the ethical problems of research into human remains, while providing valuable information about diet and life styles. This article describes a study of tooth wear in dental casts of three different groups of Australian Aborigines. The authors describe their methods of recording and report differential patterns of wear in the different groups. Preliminary interpretation relates the wear patterns both to diet and to the use of teeth as tools in a range of cultural activities, results which are potentially relevant to other groups of hunter-gatherers, past and present.