An exploration of adult body shape and limb proportions at Kellis 2, Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt

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Abstract

Several studies have shown that the human body generally conforms to the ecogeographical expectations of Bergmann's and Allen's rules; however, recent evidence suggests that these expectations may not hold completely for some populations. Egypt is located at the crossroads of Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Europe, and the Near East, and gene flow among groups in these regions may confound ecogeographical patterning. In this study, we test the fit of the adult physique of a large sample (N = 163) of females and males from the Kellis 2 cemetery (Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt) against ecogeographical predictions. Body shape (i.e., body mass relative to stature) was assessed by the femur head diameter to bicondylar femur length index (FHD/BFL), and brachial and crural indices were calculated to examine intralimb proportions. Body shape in the Kellis 2 sample is not significantly different from high-latitude groups and a Lower Nubian sample, and intralimb proportions are not significantly different from mid-latitude and other low-latitude groups. This study demonstrates the potential uniqueness of body shape and intralimb proportions in an ancient Egyptian sample, and further highlights the complex relationship between ecogeographic patterning and adaptation. Am J Phys Anthropol 153:496–505, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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