The Sinodont dental morphology pattern of NE Asia is today more complex and was so by 20,000 years ago, than the simplified Sundadonty of SE Asia-Oceania, and the very simplified pattern that evolved greater than 20,000 B.P. All Native Americans are Sinodonts. Intra--and inter-hemispheric statistical analyses of 28 dental traits in greater than 6000 N & S American and greater than 1100 NE Asian crania reveal three temporally stable American sub-patterns, suggesting prior evolution in Sino-Siberia. The hypothesized biocultural associations and migration episodes are: (1) "Upper Cave" Sinodonts with the generalized Chinese Microlithic Tradition reach the Arctic steppe via the Lena basin to become Paleo--and most later Indians. (2) Smaller-game-hunting Siberian Diuktaians cross to Alaska at forest-forming terminal land bridge times to become Paleo-Arctic and subsequent Na-Dene-speaking NW forest Indians. (3) Lower Amur basin-N Japan blade-makingfolk evolve a coastal culture on the way to the land bridge's SE terminus at Anangula-Umnak where the oldest skeletons of the dentally distinctive but variable Aleut-Eskimos have been found.
Stable carbon isotope ratios in prehistoric human bone collagen have been used extensively to document the introduction and intensification of maize horticulture in notheastern North America. Most previous studies are based on small samples of adults who are assumed to characterize the diet of the population. In this study, all 29 individuals buried within an Ontario Iroquoian village site dated A.D. 1530-1580 were analysed for stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen. Age distribution of the sample ranges from preterm to elderly. Significant negative correlations between age and delta 13C, and age and delta 15N values were found. High delta 13C values in infants and young children (delta 13C = -6.8 to -12.3) suggest a weaning diet high in maize. High delta 15N values in infants relative to adults suggest a trophic level effect during breast-feeding which has been reported in a modern sample by Tuross et al. (Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 1993). In addition to the isotopic evidence for extremely high carbohydrate (maize) intake, the MacPherson sample includes two juveniles aged 3-4 years, exhibiting circular caries. No other cases of this condition are known in the extensively studied southern Ontario skeletal collections. Together the evidence from dentition and stable carbon isotopes indicates a very high carbohydrate diet in subadults. Circular caries result from developmental stress during enamel formation with subsequent caries formation in areas of thinner enamel. These findings are relevant to studies of infant and early childhood morbidity and mortality among prehistoric maize horticulturists.
Erratum In: Am J Phys Anthropol 1993 Sep;92(1):127
Throughout the world all populations are seeing burgeoning numbers of "elders", defined as persons aged 65 year and older. In many countries, including Japan, the United States, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, those aged over 65 are at or approaching 15% of the population. As their numbers have increased, so have their health care expenses, leading to extensive research on the health, well being, and life expectancy of these increasingly older elders. Today this group is further sub-divided: the young-old ages 65-74, the old-old ages 75-84, and the oldest-old ages 85+, for both health care and research purposes. However broad variation still characterizes even these groupings. Rates of frailty and disability increase with increasing age among these elders. For example, inabilities to complete at least one activity of daily living increased from about 5-7% at ages 65-69 years to about 28-36% at ages 85+ in 1987. Death rates continue to decline at all ages past 50 years and rates of disability seem to be doing the same. For the foreseeable future, we may expect increasing numbers of older, frail elders than in previous decades. Thus, people are not only living longer, they generally are healthier at advanced ages than were previous cohorts, thus "old age" disabilities of the 20th century will be put off to even older ages during the 21st century. As yet there is no clear way to assess senescent changes in humans, although activities of daily living, allostatic load, and frailty indices have all been suggested. One future need is greater development and use of universal and accessible design in all aspects of the built environment.
The purpose of this paper is to review the anthropological evidence relating to the cultural determinants of the right-hand first postaulted by Hertz in his classic study. Also a genetic/cultural conformity model of handedness is presented that postulates that the incidence of handedness in a society is held to result both from the genetic expression of handedness interacting with cultural pressures towards conformity. The evolutionary basis for the hemispheric functional organization into cognitive and perceptual hemispheric functions is discussed in terms of "right-handed dominant homozygotes, DD," "heterozygotes, DR," mixed-handers, and "left-handed recessive homozygotes, RR." The cross-cultural distribution of handedness provides support for this model since the more conforming agriculturalists as measured by the Asch Test have a significantly lower incidence of left-handedness (0.59%, 1.5% and 3.4%), while the more permissively socialized Eskimo and Arunta hunters, who are seen to be more independent on the Asch Test, have 11.3% and 10.5% left-handers, respectively. Also, due to the greater pressures for females to conform in agricultural societies, the incidence of female left-handedness in agricultural societies is 0% out of 330 female Ss, with 3.8%, 0.79%, and 2.5% in agricultural males, as contrasted with the Eskimo hunters who have 12.5% left-handed males and 10.3% left-handed females, showing no significant sex difference. A further Hong Kong-English study also supports the genetic/cultural conformity model with a significantly lower incidence of Hong Kong Chinese left-handers (RR: male = 2.7%, and female = 4.2%). The next section, concerned with the neonatal sex-hormone differentiation and lateralization processes, provides a neuropsychologic theory relating to spatial and linguistic skills that is relevant to the following section, which deals with relationships between laterality and cognitive style. The results are also presented for the Alaskan Eskimo in relation to hand, eye, auditory dominance and cognitive style. The analysis of Eskimo fixed-versus mixed-laterality data also confirms, as predicted, that both within and across a modality (e.g., right hand/right eye/right ear) fixed right-dominance Eskimo Ss are more field-independent than mixed-dominance Ss, while the fixed left-dominance Ss are the most field-dependent and have lower spatial skills. The discussion section reviews the papers relating to the genetic/conformity model of handedness, as well as laterality and cognitive style. The evolutionary adaptive significance of sex differences in gonadal differentiation and lateralization of the brain on spatial and linguistic skills are also reviewed. The conclusions are concerned with the implications for biosocial theory and the rapidly changing incidence of left-handedness due to accompanying changes in cultural pressures both within and across cultures.
The driving force behind the transition from a foraging to a farming lifestyle in prehistoric Europe (Neolithization) has been debated for more than a century [1-3]. Of particular interest is whether population replacement or cultural exchange was responsible [3-5]. Scandinavia holds a unique place in this debate, for it maintained one of the last major hunter-gatherer complexes in Neolithic Europe, the Pitted Ware culture . Intriguingly, these late hunter-gatherers existed in parallel to early farmers for more than a millennium before they vanished some 4,000 years ago [7, 8]. The prolonged coexistence of the two cultures in Scandinavia has been cited as an argument against population replacement between the Mesolithic and the present [7, 8]. Through analysis of DNA extracted from ancient Scandinavian human remains, we show that people of the Pitted Ware culture were not the direct ancestors of modern Scandinavians (including the Saami people of northern Scandinavia) but are more closely related to contemporary populations of the eastern Baltic region. Our findings support hypotheses arising from archaeological analyses that propose a Neolithic or post-Neolithic population replacement in Scandinavia . Furthermore, our data are consistent with the view that the eastern Baltic represents a genetic refugia for some of the European hunter-gatherer populations.
Comment In: Curr Biol. 2009 Nov 3;19(20):R948-919889371
A total of 1582 individuals of the indigenous population of the Peloponnesus was investigated anthropologically. 1465 of these individuals are males, 117 females in the age between 20 and 60 years. The mean age of the males is 40 years, that of the females 30 years. Altogether 19 metric and 42 morphognostic characters could be considered. In order to study the geographical variability of these characters 90 distribution maps were drawn. Furthermore, multivariate statistical analysis was done, using Hiernaux's distance method, which allows to consider metric and morphognostic characters simultaneously. According to the distribution pattern of the anthropological characters under study and the results of Hiernaux's distance method two anthropological types can be discerned. The first of these two types covers the largest part of the country and is found mainly in the Western and Southern parts of the Peloponnesus, whereas the other one is dominating in Northeastern and Central Peloponnesus. The Western-Southern type is characterized by a relatively dark skin, straight nose, brown-grey eyes, marked eye-brows, and a marked torus supraorbitalis as compared to the Northeastern-Central type. An ethnohistorical interpretation of these differences is not yet possible.