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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2014 Jul;154(3):334-48. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22513. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Comparability of multiple data types from the Bering Strait region: cranial and dental metrics and nonmetrics, mtDNA, and Y-chromosome DNA.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.


Different data types have previously been shown to have the same microevolutionary patterns in worldwide data sets. However, peopling of the New World studies have shown a difference in migration paths and timings using multiple types of data, spurring research to understand why this is the case. This study was designed to test the degree of similarity in evolutionary patterns by using cranial and dental metric and nonmetric data, along with Y-chromosome DNA and mtDNA. The populations used included Inuits from Alaska, Canada, Siberia, Greenland, and the Aleutian Islands. For comparability, the populations used for the cranial and molecular data were from similar geographic regions or had a shared population history. Distance, R and kinship matrices were generated for use in running Mantel tests, PROTEST analyses, and Procrustes analyses. A clear patterning was seen, with the craniometric data being most highly correlated to the mtDNA data and the cranial nonmetric data being most highly correlated with the Y-chromosome data, while the phenotypic data were also linked. This patterning is suggestive of a possible male or female inheritance, or the correlated data types are affected by the same or similar evolutionary forces. The results of this study indicate cranial traits have some degree of heritability. Moreover, combining data types leads to a richer knowledge of biological affinity. This understanding is important for bioarchaeological contexts, in particular, peopling of the New World studies where focusing on reconciling the results from comparing multiple data types is necessary to move forward.

© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


aleut; biological distance; inuit; kinship matrix; mantel tests; procrustes

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