Cranial asymmetry in Newfoundland Maritime Archaic and colonial-era European skeletal populations: an examination of developmental stability and the impact of muscular activity on cranial morphological variation

Webb, Emily (2006) Cranial asymmetry in Newfoundland Maritime Archaic and colonial-era European skeletal populations: an examination of developmental stability and the impact of muscular activity on cranial morphological variation. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This research centres on an investigation of cranial asymmetry in terms of within-individual and intra-sample frequency and etiology, in an effort to elucidate and compare the health, environment and cultural behaviour of Newfoundland Maritime Archaic and Colonial-era European skeletal samples. The samples consisted of thirty-seven Maritime Archaic and forty-one European crania, and were drawn from past Newfoundland and Labrador populations. This research entailed a quantitative examination of morphological variation, focusing on developmental stability, pathology and the influence of muscular activity, and was analyzed in the context of a functional cranial model. -- At the individual level, the use of standardized cumulative asymmetry values to characterize each functional unit allowed both empirical description and discussion of asymmetry in functional and developmental contexts. At the sample level, both groups manifested asymmetric variation in regions likely to be reflective of postnatal muscle use, and some differences in physical activity between groups can be defined. On the whole, the Maritime Archaic demonstrated higher levels of asymmetry than the European sample, and this is reflected though an examination of developmental stability and fluctuating asymmetry. -- The methodology allowed group-specific explanations of asymmetric variation to be constructed at the sample level, and informative analysis of functional and developmental variation at the individual level. All studied crania were determined to be asymmetric to some extent, and it was possible to gain an understanding of the nature and magnitude of that asymmetry using the functional cranial model and the asymmetry measurements presented in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9911
Item ID: 9911
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 136-146.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Anthropology
Date: 2006
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Colonists--Newfoundland and Labrador; Craniology--Newfoundland and Labrador; Indians of North America--Craniology--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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