Refining the resolution of biological distance studies based on the analysis of dental morphology: Detecting subpopulations at Grasshopper Pueblo
AuthorMcClelland, John Alan
AdvisorBeck, Lane A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe study of variation in dental morphology has long been an accepted method of assessing biological distance between human populations. Recently, greater emphasis has been placed on detecting biological differences within populations. The purpose of this dissertation is to determine if a refined method of dental morphological analysis is capable of detecting the presence of population subsets. A large collection of skeletal remains from Grasshopper Pueblo in east-central Arizona is the subject of the study. The pueblo was occupied from A.D. 1275 to 1400. Previously, researchers have demonstrated through the application of archaeological and chemical isotope evidence that there were population subsets at Grasshopper that had differing geographic origins within the region. Therefore, the efficacy of intrasite biodistance based on analysis of dental morphology may be tested against this independent source of information regarding population subdivisions. The principal refinement in method involves the measurement of tooth crown components through the use of digital imaging. More than 600 specimens were examined and a full suite of nonmetric and metric traits were recorded. Intra- and interobserver tests were conducted and some traits were excluded from further analyses because of questionable reliability. Replicability of the digital image measurements is encouraging. In general, univariate comparisons of trait frequencies among suspected population subdivisions were not conclusive. Multivariate analysis, using Gower's general coefficient of similarity with subsequent cluster analysis, proved more successful. The spatial distributions of the adult population subdivisions that are suggested by the chemical isotope study and this dental biodistance study are similar. This result tends to confirm the efficacy of dental morphology as a tool for intrasite biodistance investigation. The spatial patterns formed by cluster analysis of juveniles differ substantially from the adult patterns. Furthermore, the use of tooth crown component measurements proved more effective at detecting population subdivisions than the use of standard ordinal traits.
Degree ProgramGraduate College