Matching Items (7)

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Genetic Population Structure Accounts for Contemporary Ecogeographic Patterns in Tropic and Subtropic-Dwelling Humans

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Contemporary human populations conform to ecogeographic predictions that animals will become more compact in cooler climates and less compact in warmer ones. However, it remains unclear to what extent this

Contemporary human populations conform to ecogeographic predictions that animals will become more compact in cooler climates and less compact in warmer ones. However, it remains unclear to what extent this pattern reflects plastic responses to current environments or genetic differences among populations. Analyzing anthropometric surveys of 232,684 children and adults from across 80 ethnolinguistic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas, we confirm that body surface-to-volume correlates with contemporary temperature at magnitudes found in more latitudinally diverse samples (Adj. R[superscript 2] = 0.14-0.28). However, far more variation in body surface-to-volume is attributable to genetic population structure (Adj. R[superscript 2] = 0.50-0.74). Moreover, genetic population structure accounts for nearly all of the observed relationship between contemporary temperature and body surface-to-volume among children and adults. Indeed, after controlling for population structure, contemporary temperature accounts for no more than 4% of the variance in body form in these groups. This effect of genetic affinity on body form is also independent of other ecological variables, such as dominant mode of subsistence and household wealth per capita. These findings suggest that the observed fit of human body surface-to-volume with current climate in this sample reflects relatively large effects of existing genetic population structure of contemporary humans compared to plastic response to current environments.

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Date Created
  • 2015-03-27

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Comparison in the Uses of Isotopic Analysis in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

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This paper will cover a variety of stable isotope systems, both light and heavy, that are used to interpret isotopic analysis in two different disciplines: bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. To

This paper will cover a variety of stable isotope systems, both light and heavy, that are used to interpret isotopic analysis in two different disciplines: bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. To begin, I will give short histories of both bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology, including what is considered to be the beginning of the disciplines as well as the founders of said disciplines. Following the histories of the disciplines, there will be a short background in isotopes and isotopic analysis, including an introduction to isoscapes and how isotopic data can be collected for further interpretation. There will then be an introduction to light isotopes, focusing on the ones used for this thesis, which will lead into the background of each light isotope. Following the light isotopes is an introduction to the heavy isotopes and the backgrounds of each of the heavy isotopes. Finally, this thesis will end in the conclusions section.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Analysis of Native American Scalping from the Chavez Pass Population

Description

Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect

Scalping has been practiced by the Native Americans since pre-Columbian times in North America and is observed as cut-marks in the form of a rough circle on the superior aspect of the cranium of the individual. For this study, there are 7 crania with cut-marks evident of scalping from the Southwest population of Chavez Pass. These crania were excavated from the site of Nuvakwewtaqa located in north-central Arizona, in the middle of the Coconino National Forest. Unfortunately, the site was heavily looted through pot-hunter activity, leading to a large collection of commingle remains. The objectives of this study are summarized into three basic question words: Who? Where? And, How? More specifically: [1] whether there is a relationship between age or sex and being a victim of scalping; [2] whether there is a relationship between the burial location and having been scalped; and, [3] whether the age or sex of an individual affected the manner in which they were scalped. For this analysis of scalping, three statistical tests were used: Fisher's exact test, Chi-Square test and two-sample t-tests.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

The population history of the Caribbean: perspectives from ancient and modern DNA analysis

Description

Although the Caribbean has been continuously inhabited for the last 7,000 years, European contact in the last 500 years dramatically reshaped the cultural and genetic makeup of island populations. Several

Although the Caribbean has been continuously inhabited for the last 7,000 years, European contact in the last 500 years dramatically reshaped the cultural and genetic makeup of island populations. Several recent studies have explored the genetic diversity of Caribbean Latinos and have characterized Native American variation present within their genomes. However, the difficulty of obtaining ancient DNA from pre-contact populations and the underrepresentation of non-Latino Caribbean islanders in current research have prevented a complete understanding of genetic variation over time and space in the Caribbean basin. This dissertation uses two approaches to characterize the role of migration and admixture in the demographic history of Caribbean islanders. First, autosomal variants were genotyped in a sample of 55 Afro-Caribbeans from five islands in the Lesser Antilles: Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and St. Vincent. These data were used to characterize genetic structure, ancestry and signatures of selection in these populations. The results demonstrate a complex pattern of admixture since European contact, including a strong signature of sex-biased mating and inputs from at least five continental populations to the autosomal ancestry of Afro-Caribbean peoples. Second, ancient mitochondrial and nuclear DNA were obtained from 60 skeletal remains, dated between A.D. 500–1300, from three archaeological sites in Puerto Rico: Paso del Indio, Punta Candelero and Tibes. The ancient data were used to reassesses existing models for the peopling of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and to examine the extent of genetic continuity between ancient and modern populations. Project findings support a largely South American origin for Ceramic Age Caribbean populations and identify some genetic continuity between pre and post contact islanders. The above study was aided by development and testing of extraction methods optimized for recovery of ancient DNA from tropical contexts. Overall, project findings characterize how ancient indigenous groups, European colonial regimes, the African Slave Trade and modern labor movements have shaped the genomic diversity of Caribbean islanders. In addition to its anthropological and historical importance, such knowledge is also essential for informing the identification of medically relevant genetic variation in these populations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Traveling monastic paths : mobility and religion in medieval Ireland at five early and late medieval Irish monasteries

Description

Mobility is an important aspect of the lives of religious individuals described by medieval texts in early and late medieval Ireland, and biogeochemical methods can be used to detect mobility

Mobility is an important aspect of the lives of religious individuals described by medieval texts in early and late medieval Ireland, and biogeochemical methods can be used to detect mobility in archaeological populations. Stories are recorded of monks and nuns traveling and founding monasteries across Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, and other areas of Europe. However, these texts rarely address the quotidian lives of average monks and nuns who lived in monastic communities. This dissertation seeks to understand if travel was a typical part of the experiences of religious and lay people in early and late medieval Ireland. It also aims to increase understanding of how monastic communities related to the local lay communities, including addressing if the monastery was populated by those who grew up in the local area. Another methodological aim of this dissertation is to advance the field of archaeological biogeochemistry by (1) adding to the bioavailable strontium baseline in Ireland and (2) quantifying the contribution of ocean-derived strontium to coastal environments. These topics are explored through the biogeochemical analysis of 88 individuals buried at 5 early and late medieval monasteries in Ireland and the analysis of a total of 85 plant samples from four counties in Ireland. The three papers in this dissertation present: (1) a summary of the mobility of religious and lay people buried at the monasteries (Chapter 2), (2) a case study presenting evidence for fosterage of a local child at the early medieval monastery of Illaunloughan, Co. Kerry (Chapter 3), and (3) a study designed to quantify the impact of sea spray on bioavailable strontium in coastal environments (Chapter 4). The majority of lay and religious individuals studied were estimated to be local, indicating that medieval Irish Christianity was strongly rooted in the local community. The study of ocean-derived strontium in a coastal environment indicates that sea spray has a non-uniform impact on bioavailable strontium in coastal regions. These findings shed new light on medieval monastic and lay life in Ireland through the application of biogeochemical methods, contributing to the growth of the field of archaeological chemistry in Ireland.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Conquest and conversion in Islamic Period Iberia (A.D. 711-1490): a bioarchaeological approach

Description

This dissertation research employs biological distance and mortuary analyses in tandem with historical sources to investigate the degree to which conversion, as opposed to migration, contributed to the spread of

This dissertation research employs biological distance and mortuary analyses in tandem with historical sources to investigate the degree to which conversion, as opposed to migration, contributed to the spread of Islam in southern Iberia. The dynamics of the 8th century conquest of Iberia by Muslim Arab and Berber forces from North Africa, and the subsequent 800-year period of religious, political, and social change, remain contested and poorly understood. Migration of Islamic peoples to the peninsula once was invoked as the primary vehicle of Islamic influence, but religious conversion, whether true or nominal, increasingly is regarded as a key component of those changes. This dissertation proposes that conversion, whether a prelude to or a component of Islamization, altered social group affiliations and interactions among those living in southern Iberia. Such changes in social relations and the resultant patterns of mate exchange will be recognizable by means of altered biological patterns of phenotypic variation. Through the examination of ~900 individuals from both Iberian and North African skeletal collections, this study concludes that conquest resulted in a great increase in phenotypic variability in the peninsula from the 8th-11th centuries. The data further indicate that males contributed this phenotypic variability to the samples in the Early Conquest period. Females, most frequently from Hispano-Roman Christian groups, appear to have ‘intermarried’ with these early conquerors and with the Muwallads, male Islamic converts, and are included in the early Muslim burial programs. From the 11th to the 14th centuries, the data presented here demonstrate a stasis and even a slight decrease in phenotypic variability in southern Iberia, which may be explained by endogamy among religious groups in this region.

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Date Created
  • 2017

Primate skeletal epigenetics: evolutionary implications of DNA methylation patterns in the skeletal tissues of human and nonhuman primates

Description

Within the primate lineage, skeletal traits that contribute to inter-specific anatomical variation and enable varied niche occupations and forms of locomotion are often described as the result of environmental adaptations.

Within the primate lineage, skeletal traits that contribute to inter-specific anatomical variation and enable varied niche occupations and forms of locomotion are often described as the result of environmental adaptations. However, skeletal phenotypes are more accurately defined as complex traits, and environmental, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation which regulates gene expression, all contribute to these phenotypes. Nevertheless, skeletal complexity in relation to epigenetic variation has not been assessed across the primate order. In order to gain a complete understanding of the evolution of skeletal phenotypes across primates, it is necessary to study skeletal epigenetics in primates. This study attempts to fill this gap by identifying intra- and inter-specific variation in primate skeletal tissue methylation in order to test whether specific features of skeletal form are related to specific variations in methylation. Specifically, methylation arrays and gene-specific methylation sequencing are used to identify DNA methylation patterns in femoral trabecular bone and cartilage of several nonhuman primate species. Samples include baboons (Papio spp.), macaques (Macaca mulatta), vervets (Chlorocebus aethiops), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), and the efficiencies of these methods are validated in each taxon. Within one nonhuman primate species (baboons), intra-specific variations in methylation patterns are identified across a range of comparative levels, including skeletal tissue differences (bone vs. cartilage), age cohort differences (adults vs. juveniles), and skeletal disease state differences (osteoarthritic vs. healthy), and some of the identified patterns are evolutionarily conserved with those known in humans. Additionally, in all nonhuman primate species, intra-specific methylation variation in association with nonpathological femur morphologies is assessed. Lastly, inter-specific changes in methylation are evaluated among all nonhuman primate taxa and used to provide a phylogenetic framework for methylation changes previously identified in the hominin lineage. Overall, findings from this work reveal how skeletal DNA methylation patterns vary within and among primate species and relate to skeletal phenotypes, and together they inform our understanding of epigenetic regulation and complex skeletal trait evolution in primates.

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Date Created
  • 2017