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The genetic architecture of the late prehistoric and protohistoric Rapa Nui

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Title: The genetic architecture of the late prehistoric and protohistoric Rapa Nui
Authors: Dudgeon, John Vede
Issue Date: 2008
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2008.
This thesis represents an initial effort to evaluate the chemical and genetic evidence for residential, spatial and interaction-based explanations for social and community structure within the late prehistoric (AD 1680-1722) and protohistoric (AD 1722-1868) Rapa Nui (Easter Islanders). One hundred sixty-seven dental specimens were measured for trace elements incorporated into the crystalline structure of the enamel during tooth formation using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Trace elements in the enamel were compared to the elemental signature from soils and sediments derived from the different volcanic flow events on the island. Multivariate statistical comparisons between these two datasets were used to assess the probability of residential stability. Ninety-two individual dental specimens were genotyped using microsatellite DNA extracted from the tooth root, and a study of the overall variation within the island as a group, as well as the patterns of gene flow between sites and site clusters was performed. The genetic data are interpreted using a nested set of hypotheses constructed around the lineage-based descent systems described in the protohistoric observations and ethnographic reconstructions of early European visitors, and recent osteological studies using craniometrics and discrete traits of the skeleton to identify intra-island population affinities. Inbreeding coefficients and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) are used to describe the direction and frequency of gene flow and isolation between the ethnographic and craniometric groups, and phylogenetic trees visually demonstrate possible patterns of relatedness. Additionally, the genetic data are used to evaluate the size and timing of island colonization, by estimating effective population size and determining whether the genetic architecture of the sample is representative of genetic bottleneck and subsequent rapid demographic expansion. The data and conclusions developed from the chemical and genetic analysis of the enamel and bone from the Rapa Nui skeletal collection augment current archaeological, physical anthropological and ethnohistoric evidence and explanations. I offer some evidence and test explanations for the observed distribution of genetic variation in the skeletal series, and present a research program for future study in the curated skeletal collection to significantly expand the current understanding of the nature of the archaeological landscape on Rapa Nui.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 252-286).
Also available by subscription via World Wide Web
301 leaves, bound 29 cm
ISBN: 9780549631606
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Anthropology Ph.D Dissertations
Ph.D. - Anthropology

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