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The Bioarchaeology of the Human HeadDecapitation, Decoration, and Deformation$
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Michelle Bonogofsky

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035567

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035567.001.0001

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Biohistory and Cranial Morphology

Biohistory and Cranial Morphology

A Forensic Case from Spanish Colonial Georgia

(p.179) 7 Biohistory and Cranial Morphology
The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head

Christopher M. Stojanowski

William N. Duncan

University Press of Florida

Craniometric population allocation is often performed during medico-legal and biohistorical investigations of human remains, although such work has been criticized for being typological. This chapter presents a historical case study from the southeastern United States (Georgia) which implements the specific population approach of Brues. This approach is not typological because it uses data from populations from the correct time and place for comparative purposes rather than broad racial categories. The specimen is purported to be a martyred Spanish priest from the sixteenth century. Using archaeological and historical data, a comparative framework that targets the most likely source populations was constructed. Principal components analysis failed to falsify the hypothesis that the skull was most similar to a medieval Spanish population. The significance of the chapter is its demonstration of the potential to conduct population affinity analysis by drawing on already available data without using racial categories.

Keywords:   craniometric allocation, biodistance, Spanish Florida, forensic anthropology, Discriminant Function Analysis, Franciscans

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