Biohistory and Cranial Morphology

Christopher M. Stojanowski and William N. Duncan

in The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035567
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041766 | DOI:
Biohistory and Cranial Morphology

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Craniometric population allocation is often performed during medico-legal and biohistorical investigations of human remains, although such work has been criticized for being typological. This chapter presents a historical case study from the southeastern United States (Georgia) which implements the specific population approach of Brues. This approach is not typological because it uses data from populations from the correct time and place for comparative purposes rather than broad racial categories. The specimen is purported to be a martyred Spanish priest from the sixteenth century. Using archaeological and historical data, a comparative framework that targets the most likely source populations was constructed. Principal components analysis failed to falsify the hypothesis that the skull was most similar to a medieval Spanish population. The significance of the chapter is its demonstration of the potential to conduct population affinity analysis by drawing on already available data without using racial categories.

Keywords: craniometric allocation; biodistance; Spanish Florida; forensic anthropology; Discriminant Function Analysis; Franciscans

Chapter.  8326 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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