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Distinguishing Closely Related Modern Human Populations Using Cranial Morphometrics: A View from Korea and Japan

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Title:Distinguishing Closely Related Modern Human Populations Using Cranial Morphometrics: A View from Korea and Japan
Authors:Harrington, Katherine
Contributors:Bae, Christopher J. (advisor)
Anthropology (department)
Keywords:Physical anthropology
Cranial Morphometrics
East Asia
Human Variation
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Date Issued:2020
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:One of the continuing issues in biological anthropology research on human variation is whether two closely related populations can be distinguished using skeletal methods. This dissertation uses morphological approaches to analyze 2D and 3D cranial data from Korean and Japanese skeletal collections dating to the historical early modern and modern periods. These two populations were selected as the subjects of this study due to their established shared population history and close genetic relationship. The cranium was chosen as the focus of this research because its form is the result of primarily neutral factors, but also to some extent environmental and developmental factors. The aim of this dissertation is to determine if two closely related populations can be differentiated, and to test whether directionality of gene flow can be detected in the cranium.
Traditional 2D craniometric and 3D geometric morphometric methods were utilized to analyze the data. For the 3D analyses, the cranium was divided into three components: the whole cranium, facial region, and cranial vault. This was done to test hypotheses about the neutrality of different parts of the cranium that have been presented in previous studies. Both 2D and 3D methodologies included principal component analysis, canonical variate analysis, and discriminant function analysis.
The results of the various analyses show that while the Korean and Japanese populations share cranial variation, there was enough between-group variation to be able to distinguish them. Overall, the whole cranium performed the best in this. In line with the existing neutral hypotheses that state the facial region is less congruent with genetic data, the face had the most landmarks that contributed to the variation between the groups. However, the temporal bone which is generally the most congruent with genetics had landmarks that contributed to the differences between the populations. This is likely a result of differential gene flow coming from populations not included in this study.
In terms of directionality of gene flow between the Korean and Japanese populations, the analyses provided some unexpected results. Contrary to expectations based on the historical evidence, there was more admixture in the early modern period than the modern period, and the gene flow was in the direction from Korea to Japan. In addition to this, the modern period shows divergence between the two geographic populations while the Korean temporal groups have more continuity than the Japanese.
Pages/Duration:221 pages
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: Ph.D. - Anthropology

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