Cranial variation in the terminal Late Archaic of Ohio



Cranial and mandibular discrete traits and cranial metric traits were collected from 99–125 individuals in eight terminal Late Archaic sites. The analysis of ten metric traits in six samples showed that the samples shared the same generalized variance and that sexual dimorphism in the means of the metric traits was greater than inter-site differences. Since these samples share the same size and shape expression of a complex set of polygenic traits, we hypothesize a historical relationship among these samples.

Discrete trait analysis showed a pattern of differentiation among the eight samples. This pattern of differentiation is related directly to the geographical separation between samples, and, as with metric traits, cultural differences do not contribute to the pattern of biological differences. The overall pattern of osteological variation in these samples can be summarized parsimoniously by paraphrasing the first law of geography: All of the terminal Late Archaic populations of Ohio were related to each other, but closer ones were more related than distant ones.