All authors contributed equally to this work.
The peopling of America: Craniofacial shape variation on a continental scale and its interpretation from an interdisciplinary view
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 137, Issue 2, pages 175–187, October 2008
How to Cite
González-José, R., Bortolini, M. C., Santos, F. R. and Bonatto, S. L. (2008), The peopling of America: Craniofacial shape variation on a continental scale and its interpretation from an interdisciplinary view. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 137: 175–187. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20854
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2008
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 MAR 2008
- Manuscript Received: 21 JAN 2008
- In Brazil: Institutos do Milênio and Apoio a Núcleos de Excelência Programs
- Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
- Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Rio Grande do Sul
- Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de Minas Gerais
- Native Americans;
- skull shape;
- molecular genetics;
- settlement models
Twenty-two years ago, Greenberg, Turner and Zegura (Curr. Anthropol. 27,477–495, 1986) suggested a multidisciplinary model for the human settlement of the New World. Since their synthesis, several studies based mainly on partial evidence such as skull morphology and molecular genetics have presented competing, apparently mutually exclusive, settlement hypotheses. These contradictory views are represented by the genetic-based Single Wave or Out of Beringia models and the cranial morphology-based Two Components/Stocks model. Here, we present a geometric morphometric analysis of 576 late Pleistocene/early Holocene and modern skulls suggesting that the classical Paleoamerican and Mongoloid craniofacial patterns should be viewed as extremes of a continuous morphological variation. Our results also suggest that recent contact among Asian and American circumarctic populations took place during the Holocene. These results along with data from other fields are synthesized in a model for the settlement of the New World that considers, in an integrative and parsimonious way, evidence coming from genetics and physical anthropology. This model takes into account a founder population occupying Beringia during the last glaciation characterized by high craniofacial diversity, founder mtDNA and Y-chromosome lineages and some private autosomal alleles. After a Beringian population expansion, which could have occurred concomitant with their entry into America, more recent circumarctic gene flow would have enabled the dispersion of northeast Asian-derived characters and some particular genetic lineages from East Asia to America and vice versa. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.