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Title Assessment of Inter and Intra-Population Variation in Stature and Body Proportions: A Comparative Study Between Living and Bioarchaeological Populations
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Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Anthropology
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher The Ohio State University
Abstract Variation in stature and body proportions across the globe is generally explained in terms of climatic adaptations and as resulting from overall life conditions experienced during growth. Based on growth heterochrony, different life histories should result in different adult stature and body proportions. It is nonetheless unclear to which extent such changes in growth outcomes take place at the intrapopulation level. This study explores variation in stature and body proportions at the inter and intrapopulation level by addressing four research questions in both living and archaeological populations. Specifically, this research investigates the existence of differences in growth outcomes within populations in relation to sex, severe growth retardation, and differential access to resources. Additionally, this study examines whether stature and body proportions allow us to differentiate between populations exposed to different environmental conditions. Variation in stature and segmental body proportions is examined in three living populations from South America and in two European medieval populations for a total of 2389 individuals. Anthropometric (height, sitting height, and leg length) and osteometric (skull height, long bones lenghts, skeletal trunk height, and skeletal height) data are analyzed and interpreted in the context of biocultural information available for each population included in the study. The statistical methods employed to address the research questions include the “Quick-Test” (Tsutakawa and Hewett, 1977), Monte Carlo analyses, principal component analyses, non-parametric analyses of variance and correlation analyses. Statistical significance is defined as p > 0.05. The results of this study reveal that: 1) Significant sex-related differences in body proportions are found in the majority of the populations examined, but the direction of such differences is extremely variable and appears to be due different sensitivity to environmental stress, cultural practices favoring one sex over the other, and the different selective pressures associated with female reproduction; 2) Severe growth retardation is associated with a reduction in relative leg length only in urban settings, while growth retardation appears to be accompanied by isometric changes in body size among rural Amazonians; 3) There is evidence in support of a positive relationship between differential access to resources and growth outcomes in both living and archaeological populations. However, no differences are found in one population, likely because of the inadequacy of the variable used as a proxy for resource access; 4) Significant interpopulation differences in stature and proportions are found among both living and archaeological populations, suggesting that growth outcomes reflect the unique set of life conditions experienced by each population, even within the same broad ecogeographic zone. Thanks to an innovative approch that combines the examination of biological variation in living and bioarchaeological populations in tandem,…
Subjects/Keywords bioarchaeology; stature; body proportions; anthropometry; osteometry
Contributors Stout, Sam (Advisor); Sciulli, Paul (Advisor)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:osu1336957912
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2016-12-22
Grantor The Ohio State University

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…mastoidectomy from a recent Italian ossuary (Chiavari, GE). Paleopathology Newsletter 151:13-18. Vercellotti G, Stout SD, Boano R, Sciulli PW. 2011. Intrapopulation variation in stature and body proportions: social status and sex differences in an…

…Italian medieval population (Trino Vercellese, VC). American Journal of Physical Anthropology 145:203-214. Vercellotti G, Piperata B. 2012. The use of biocultural data in interpreting sex differences in body proportions among rural Amazonians…

…xviii CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 1 1.1 Stature and Body Proportions in Anthropology........................................................ 1 1.2 Research…

…Questions................................................................................................... 8 1.2.1 Do Males and Females Within the Same Population Exhibit Different Body Proportions

…8 1.2.2 Is Growth Retardation Associated with Changes in Body Proportions? ........... 9 1.2.3 Is Differential Access to Resources Associated with Changes in Stature and Body Proportions

…10 1.2.4 Do Stature and Body Proportions Allow Us to Differentiate Between Populations Exposed to Different Environmental Conditions? ................................ 11 1.3 Organization of the Dissertation…

…41 CHAPTER 3: DEVELOPMENTAL ORIGINS OF VARIATION IN STATURE AND BODY PROPORTIONS................................................................................................... 44 3.1 Plasticity, Adaptation and Norms of Reaction…

…Heritability of Stature and Proportions ..................................................... 49 3.2.1.2 Genes Involved in Stature Control............................................................ 50 3.2.1.3 Genetic Bases for Sex Differences in Growth…

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