Dec 31, 2015

Who were they really? model-free and model-bound dental nonmetric analyses to affirm documented population affiliations of seven South African "Bantu" samples

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Joel D Irish


For bioarchaeological biodistance analyses it is common to "assume" that skeletal samples are representative of the populations to which they are attributed. Here, alternatively, samples with "known" attribution in the Raymond A. Dart Collection are assessed regarding their suitability for use in such analyses. Prior curation issues may call their ascribed identities into question. These 20th century samples ostensibly derive from South African Ndebele, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Venda, Xosa, and Zulu populations. First, the mean measure of divergence (MMD) is used to obtain among-sample dental phenetic distances for comparison with documented population relationships. Second, the Mantel test evaluates fit of the isolation-by-distance model between MMD and geographic distances, i.e., among the historic homelands. Third, R-matrices and minimum and estimated Fst from MMD distances give an indication of genetic micro-differentiation. Output from these model-free and model-bound analyses suggest that five and perhaps six samples are representative of their attributed populations-presenting differences along population lines and evidence of more ancient ancestry. Other than the Swazi and perhaps Nedebele, the among-sample variation: 1) m...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
African Continental Ancestry Group
Genetics, Population
Skeletal System
Cell Differentiation Process
Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology

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