Epigenetic features of human skulls from DatÇa-Burgaz excavations
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Although Anatolia includes a rich anthropological data source, studies based on nonmeasurable features are limited. Thus, this study, aiming to contribute to this field, compares 30 nonmetric features belonging to 47 skeletons from the Datça Peninsula, dated to the Roman period, with 19 nonmeasurable features on the skulls of individuals belonging to 9 different populations that lived in different geographical areas between the Early Bronze Age to the first quarter of the 20th century. Biological relations between Ancient Anatolian populations were investigated by multivariable statistical processes. Use of epigenetic features is an informative method for determining the degree of biological proximity or distance in ancient populations. The non-measurable features of the cranium are of great value to researchers for the assessment of both hereditary and environmental factors when studying such populations. In this study, 30 nonmetric features of 47 skeletons, dated to the Archaic and Roman periods, excavated from the Datça Peninsula between 1993 and 2001, were investigated. The parietal foramen was the most frequently observed feature (43.7%). The lambdoid bone (23.5%), bone on the asterion (20%), zygomaticofacial foramen (16.6%), foramen ovale (14.2%), and bone on the lambda (12.5%) were among the most frequently encountered epigenetic characters. Cluster analysis showed 2 different groupings. Those findings are remarkable and show the presence of biological and environmental similarities between ancient Anatolian populations. © 2014 MAA Printed in Greece. All rights reserved.