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

Geometric morphometric analysis of Arikara craniofacial morphology


Department of Anthropology, University of Montana

Thursday Afternoon, 301E Add to calendar

This study investigates geographic and temporal patterns in craniofacial morphology across pre- and post-contact sites associated with the Arikara in the Middle Missouri region of South Dakota. Specifically three-dimensional coordinate data observed on 27 cranial landmarks were used to test for microevolutionary changes in cranial shape and size. Geometric morphometric methods were employed for initial analyses of the coordinate data and to identify morphological variation among the samples. Regression and matrix correlation analyses were used to statistically assess variation within a geographic and temporal framework that integrates updated chronological and archaeological classifications of these sites.

After a Procrustes fitting of the raw coordinates that effectively partitions the shape and size components, both were employed in traditional statistical analyses. Results indicate that craniofacial morphological variation is patterned by geography and time with significant differences present in facial height and cranial vault height and length. Morphological similarity is associated with both geographic and temporal proximity and conforms to a model of isolation by geographic distance.

This research draws on the pioneering work of Richard L. Jantz, seeking to answer some of the same questions he originally posed over 40 years ago and has continued to address since. Employing new data and modern statistical approaches, this study highlights some of his important contributions to the field of biological anthropology.

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