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An Examination of Ancestry: Exploring the Peopling of the Americas Through Paleoindian Cranial Indices in Comparison with the Howells Collection

Author(s): Hannah Matulek ; P. Nick Kardulias

Year: 2017

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Summary

The original peopling of the Americas has puzzled researchers for decades. While some evidence points to a single wave of migration, still other data suggest two or more waves. Their reasonable estimated arrival dates range from 14,500 to over 20,000y.b.p., although some scholars push back their arrival even farther. Drawing from archaeology, genetics, historical linguistics, and physical anthropology, the peopling of the Americas debate encompasses research from a wide range of experts. In this study, craniometric data are examined by means of the cranial index, defined as the ratio calculated by multiplying the maximum width (XCB) of the head by 100, then dividing by the maximum length of the head (GOL). Cranial indices are known to vary between different regions of the world, suggesting that different ratios represent different geographic origins of peoples. I examine cranial indices from 12 individuals dating from the Terminal Pleistocene to the Early Holocene found throughout the Americas. These indices are then statistically compared to the 2,524 indices from 28 populations examined in the Howells Craniometric Data Set using t-tests. Results of this test suggest morphological affinities between certain ancient and modern groups, offering insight into possible links between the two populations.


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An Examination of Ancestry: Exploring the Peopling of the Americas Through Paleoindian Cranial Indices in Comparison with the Howells Collection. Hannah Matulek, P. Nick Kardulias. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430681)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16183

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America