The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


Cultural ecology and biological distance among Classic and Postclassic period American Southwest and Mexican populations

COREY RAGSDALE1 and HEATHER JH. EDGAR1.

1Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, 2Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico

Thursday All day, Park Concourse Add to calendar

A biological distance study using dental morphological traits was conducted to determine whether economic and ecological similarities correlated with phenotypic distances among Classic and Postclassic period Mexican populations. Samples represented populations from the American Southwest, the Valley of Mexico, the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and the Yucatan peninsula. Matrices of phenotypic distances were created using pseudo-Mahalanobis’ D2, and compared with model matrices for geographic distance, shared migration history, shared subsistence patterns, shared trade items, and shared cultural affiliation. The results of the multiple regression analysis showed geographic distance (p=0.403), shared migration history (p=0.118), and shared subsistence (p=0.065) were not significantly correlated with the matrix of biological distances. However, shared trade items (p=0.006), and shared cultural affiliation (p=0.037) were significant at significance level 0.05. The R2 value for the full regression model including all variables was 0.52. When the samples in the analysis were limited to Late Classic and Early Postclassic sites that overlapped in time, the regression results showed shared trade items (p=0.019) continued to be significant, and geographic distance (p=0.006) was also significant. Shared subsistence (p=0.091), shared migration history (p=0.894), and shared cultural affiliation (p=0.442) were not significant. The R2 value for this regression model was 0.65. These results indicate that trade had an affect on phenotypic distances during the Late Classic and Early Postclassic periods of Mexico.

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