• dental metrics;
  • residence patterning;
  • Fort Ancient


This study examines a perennial problem in anthropology, changes in postmarital residence patterning. Cross-cultural patterns related to shifts from patrilocal to matrilocal patterns have been attributed to changes in subsistence and/or the result of migrants entering a populated region. Shifts from matrilocal to multilocal patterns have been found to be related to depopulation. This study examines these possibilities in an archeological context through morphometric analyses of human dentition. Comparisons in variability among males and females are made at four Fort Ancient sites in the Middle Ohio Valley that date to sequential time periods between circa A.D. 1000 and 1650. Results show that the earliest site (Turpin) that was occupied during the transition to maize agriculture was patrilocal, whereas two subsequent sites (Anderson and SunWatch) that were occupied after the transition to a maize-focused diet reflect a matrilocal pattern. The most recently occupied site (Madisonville), occupied during a time of depopulation of the region after a decline in levels of maize consumption and a marked population shuffling contains a multilocal pattern. These results fit well with the various cross-cultural findings regarding shifts in postmarital residence patterns. Am J Phys Anthropol 154:270–278, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.