An assessment of homogeneity among Central European and recent U.S. skeletal samples

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Muzzall, Evan M.
Moore-Jansen, Peer H.

This thesis examines the effects of secular trends in stature between temporally and spatially different populations and assesses levels of homogeneity between historic and modern Central European populations and recent U.S. skeletal samples. By examining secular effects in response to socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural conditions it has been concluded that there exists a high degree of homogeneity within the U.S. skeletal sample as demonstrated by measurement means and standard deviations for both males and females. When compared to previously published historic and modern data on Central European stature, the various U.S. skeletal stature measurements provide some similar results and suggest (based on cultural information such as census data) their demographic continuity. By utilizing previously published studies that discern social strata among historic and modern Central European populations, different socioeconomic aspects and environmental variables are delineated as to disparities in secular trends of stature (such as nutrition, education and income levels, exposure to pollution, etc.). It is hypothesized that differences in stature can be observed between the populations by referencing socioeconomic, environmental, and cultural aspects of growth that can affect the original genetic trajectory of a human’s skeletal height. That is, these socioeconomic variables have the ability to affect stature to some degree. Although no marked secular trend in stature exists between the two studied populations, the recent U.S. skeletal sample could very likely be a descendant population of modern Central Europeans due to the great similarity in stature (homogeneity) between both populations.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology.
Includes bibliographic references (leaves 65-72)