The 81st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2012)


Secular change in Hispanic crania

M. KATHERINE SPRADLEY1 and JOSEPH T. HEFNER2.

1Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, 2, Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory

Saturday Afternoon, Forum Suite Add to calendar

Craniofacial secular change has been documented in the American Black and White population identifying vault height as the variable most positively correlated with time (Jantz, 2001; Jantz and Meadows Jantz, 2000; Wescott and Jantz, 2005). Recently, a demographic shift has taken place in the U.S. with an increase in Hispanic individuals. Secular changes in Hispanic skeletons have not been documented in the U.S., largely due to the lack of documented collections with significant numbers of Hispanic individuals (Spradley, 2008). Due to large scale data collection efforts between the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner (PCOME), The University of Tennessee, and Texas State University to systematically collect metric data on migrant deaths at the PCOME, data from Hispanic individuals are now available for study.

The excavation and analysis of Tucson’s oldest and largest Hispanic cemetery, allows for the opportunity to study cranial secular change between historic and recent Hispanic groups. The cemetery, in use between 1862 and 1875, represents Tucson’s Mexican and Mexican American population of the time (N=60). The PCOME sample (N=92) represents individuals born primarily during the mid- 20th century, the majority (over 90%) are from Mexico.

Based on univariate analyses, vault height has not increased over time. Vault height has been suggested to correlate with stature (Jantz and Meadows Jantz, 2000) and previous studies of secular change in height have found negligible differences in stature throughout Mexico (López-Alonso and Condey, 2003). The results will be discussed within the framework of population structure and history of both groups.

This project was supported by Award No. 2008-DN-BX-K464 awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

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