May 3, 2014

Questions of Khoesan continuity: dental affinities among the indigenous Holocene peoples of South Africa

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Joel D IrishRebecca Rogers Ackermann

Abstract

The present report follows up on the findings of previous research, including recent bioarchaeological study of well-dated Khoesan skeletal remains, that posits long term biological continuity among the indigenous peoples of South Africa after the Pleistocene. The Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System was used to record key crown, root, and intraoral osseous nonmetric traits in six early-through-late Holocene samples from the Cape coasts. Based on these data, phenetic affinities and an identification of traits most important in driving intersample variation were determined using principal components analysis and the mean measure of divergence distance statistic. To expand biological affinity comparisons into more recent times, and thus preliminarily assess the dental impact of disproportionate non-Khoesan gene flow into local peoples, dental data from historic Khoekhoe and San were also included. Results from the prehistoric comparisons are supportive of population continuity, though a sample from Matjes River Rockshelter exhibits slight phenetic distance from other early samples. This and some insignificant regional divergence among these coastal samples may be related to environmental and cultural factors that d...Continue Reading

  • References29
  • Citations4

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Tooth Crowns
African Continental Ancestry Group
Paleodontology
History, Ancient
Skeletal System
Bone Tissue
Tooth Root Structure
Tooth Structure
Odontometry
Skeletal Bone

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