MaMD Analytical

Combo MaMD Analytical



Cranial nonmetric variation and estimating ancestry
Joseph T. Hefner

"A combination of supposedly ancestrally diagnostic traits in many individuals shows the fallacy of the typological approach to ancestry prediction and reveals variation in morphoscopic traits within ancestral groups. The variation observed within groups does not mean that these traits are not useful; morphoscopic traits show great promise in a statistical framework."


An evaluation of non-metric cranial traits used to estimate ancestry in a South African sample
Ericka N. L’Abbé; Carmel Van Rooyen; Stephen P Nawrocki; Piet J. Becker

"A large amount of within-group variation is normal for a population, and, according to Hefner, nullifies the application of experienced-based morphological methods for the estimation of ancestry; especially when the observer relies too heavily on the assumption that there are marked trait differences between groups."


Morphoscopic trait expressions used to identify Southwest Hispanics
Carolyn V. Hurst

"This study demonstrates the morphoscopic cranial differences of Southwest Hispanic, African-American, and European- American samples. These results support the need for further research on the local level, especially on other regional Hispanic groups. In addition, serious consideration should be given to abandoning the non-biologically meaningful term "Hispanic" altogether and replacing it with terminology aligned with the ancestral categories that are currently in place."


Ancestry Estimation
Elizabeth DiGangi & Joseph T. Hefner

"Nonmetric traits are not discrete or isolated within one population due to multiple factors.In fact, the variation results from very specific evolutionary mechanisms. Mechanisms such as the genetic effects of selective pressures from particular environments, the effects of gene flow between groups, and the random effects of drift and founding all play a rolein the expression of variation within and between groups...We are holistic anthropologists first, united by the Culture concept with the other subdisciplines in anthropology. Remember, gone are the days of typology and biological determinism. Today, anthropologists must document human variation, its social consequences, and understand the global patterns of variation as they actually exist."


Statistical Classification Methods for Estimating Ancestry Using Morphoscopic Traits
Joseph T. Hefner & Stephen D. Ousley

"Good science dictates understanding the inherent validity, or accuracy, associated with a method. We must evaluate each method for accuracy and choose the most accuratemethod. Finally, methods with unknown accuracies and clear problems due to confirmation bias, like the traditional trait lists, should not be used."


Ancestry Assessment Using Random Forest Modeling
Joseph T. Hefner; M. Kate Spradley; Bruce Anderson

"An obvious question is whether these gains in classification accuracy are worth the added bother of a “new” statistical approach to an “old” methodological practice. The traditional, visual approach utilizing lists of extreme trait values supposedly linked to an ancestral group is no longer considereda valid alternative to, or complement of, craniometric analysis. However, useful alternatives that incorporate morphoscopictrait data have recently been offered. Such models close the gap between morphoscopic variables and craniometric analysis by incorporating two datasets already commonly used in forensic anthropological research."


NIJ Grant: A Macromorphoscopic Databank: Establishing the Statistical Analysis of Macromorphoscopic Data in Forensic Anthropology
Joseph T. Hefner

"This research will address this significant gap in best practice and minimum standards through an effort that: (1) correlates ancestry, character state expression, and modern human variation in a large and globally-diverse sample; (2) collects data on macromorphoscopic traits from current forensic case files at medical examiner offices and forensic anthropology laboratories across the country to establish a standardized database (the Macromorphoscopic Databank); and, (3) develops appropriate statistical methods to be used in the identification of ancestry within a computer program....The predictive analysis will use classification models generated using data collected from known skeletal populations (i.e., individuals of known age, sex, ancestry, etc.). The ultimate aim is the computation of a statistical probability of group membership based on the observed suite of macromorphoscopic traits. To assist researchers and professionals in forensic anthropology, a computer program that compares the unknown individual to a known database and then calculates the probability, or likelihood, of group membership will be developed."


Morphological Assessment of Ancestry using Cranial Macromorphoscopics
Alexandra R. Klales & Michael W. Kenyhercz

"The strength of the Hefner collection procedure is the standardized avenue in which the data are recorded, thus allowing compliance to the rigorous specifications of both Daubert and the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology’s best practices. The illustrations and descriptions provided vastly improves upon the old typological methods..Results from this study suggest that observers should become familiar with the traits and range of variation present prior toscoring them, as experience impacted classification accuracy andobserver agreement in trait scoring."


Morphoscopic Trait Expression in “Hispanic” Populations
Joseph T. Hefner; Marin A. Pilloud; Cullen J. Black; Bruce E. Anderson

"While a refinement of our terminology is necessary, so too is a better understanding of the biological variation present in these groups currently under the umbrella term “Hispanic.” This need is highlighted by the increase in the number of deaths along the U.S. border with Mexico. Individuals crossing over the U.S. southern border may originate from any number of countries within South and Central America, the Caribbean, or even Asia. A better understanding of biological variation between these populations can aid significantly in the identification process. In this study, we try to refine the current understanding of “Hispanic” populations through a statistical approach using cranial morphoscopic trait data."


The age-related emergence of cranial morphological variation
Carolan Wood

"Of primary importance is Hefner, who focuses on providing clearer anatomical descriptions of nonmetric (morphoscopic) traits, standardizing scoring procedures, and testing the utility of nonmetric traits in the determination of ancestry. He found that traits thought to define large, geographically based groups possessed varying predictive values for assessing ancestry… This research addressed the role of growth and development in the expression of geographic variation through an examination of traits used for ancestry assessment in individuals four months in utero to 20 years of age… Traits showed regional variability in trait frequencies prior to age stability – many from their first appearance, or from an early age in trait development. Group-specific differences are in play at an earlier age suggesting features that indicate ancestry develop prior to the onset of puberty."


Ancestry Estimation Using Macromorphoscopic Traits
Amber M. Plemons & Joseph T. Hefner

"Ancestry estimation is a critical and complex component in the establishment of biological profiles for unidentified human skeletal remains… This statistical framework allows the calculation of error rates (How often am I going to be wrong when I estimate ancestry?), in addition to probabilistic statements of an individual belonging to a particular group (How likely am I to be right for this one estimate?). These advances in cranial macromorphoscopic trait analyses should be combined with or, when those data are not possible to collect because of fragmentation or poor preservation, used alternatively to cranial metric analyses… Forensic anthropologists are continuously improving reference samples and the understanding of population-based human variation to increase the accuracy of ancestry estimation. Recent studies focus on adapting macromorphoscopic trait analyses to accommodate regional judicial system requirements of identifying unknown human remains."


Cranial Nonmetric and Morphoscopic Data Sets
C.M Pink; M.A. Pilloud; J.T. Hefner

"While more work may be needed to fully understand the heritability of these nonmetric and morphoscopic traits of the cranium, there is little doubt that they are reflective of population histories and individual ancestry. Therefore, they are relevant data sets in both bioarchaeology and forensic anthropology. These data are appealing to many researchers, as they are easy to collect, nondestructive, applicable to fragmentary remains, and can be taken rapidly on large data sets. The refinement of statistical methods, both in population-based analyses and in nonparametric methods, will make the use of these data more feasible for many scholars. Additionally, multiple statistical packages are readily available that can be used to easily analyze these data."


Biological Distance Analysis, Cranial Morphoscopic Traits, and Ancestry Assessment in Forensic Anthropology
J.T. Hefner

"The application of statistical classification methods and biodistance analysis using cranial morphoscopic data has been explored here. These results demonstrate that cranial morphoscopic traits can be used to assess ancestry successfully and can provide estimated error rates, but more importantly, these same data can be used to assess population relatedness through an exploration of biodistance measures. Finally, while Hefner’s (2009) revised definitions and illustrations reduce subjectivity in trait scoring, methods like CAP go one step further to reduce subjectivity in how these traits are used to assess ancestry."


Estimating Ancestry of Fragmentary Remains Via Multiple Classifier Systems: A Study of the Mississippi State Asylum Skeletal Assemblage
N.P. Herrmann; A. Plemons; E.F. Harris

"The Memphis dataset appears to provide good classifications relative to the other indicators (cranial macromorphoscopic and dental morphology), but the Hanihara worldwide sample produces similar posterior values as the Memphis dataset… Ideally, multiple indicators would be integrated into a single classification system like those presented by Hefner et al. (2014) and Lease and Sciulli (2005). We are currently pursuing the individual dental morphology data for the Memphis sample and will reassess the sample based on a combined dental reference dataset, which will include both metric and morphological observations."


Macromorphoscopic trait expression in a cranial sample from Medellín, Colombia
Timisay Monsalve & Joseph T. Hefner

"Social and historical aspects of a population’s demographic structure must be known prior to undertaking any assessment of ancestry. As is common practice in the United States, when assessing ancestry using craniometric techniques, macromorphometricians should also provide a broad assessment of ancestry (e.g., Hispanic, Colombian, African) first. Then, when possible, a finer level of analysis (e.g., Northern Mexico, Norte, 20th Century American Black) can also be provided, and may prove to be more meaningful to investigators who are searching through missing persons records, family reports of the missing, investigation records, etc.… regardless of the outwardly narrow needs of law enforcement or the medical examiner, who seek the peer-perceived ancestry of an unknown individual classified according to social race categories that have little biological meaning, forensic anthropologists—as observers of human variation—need to account for population-level variability."


Ancestry estimation based on morphoscopic traits in a sample of African slaves from Lagos, Portugal (15 th -17 th centuries): Ancestry estimation in a slave sample from Portugal
C. Coelho; D. Navega; E. Cunha; M. T. Ferreira; S. N. Wasterlain

"The Lagos’s historical context and the presence of many individuals with intentionally modified teeth… are among the facts that led the authors to suspect that these skeletons were the remains of African slaves who arrived to the Lagos’s harbour during that time period. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the ancestry of 33 adult individuals (28 women and 5 men), applying the 11 morphological characteristics recommended by Hefner (2009) using the naïve Bayes classifier. … Given the results obtained in the present study, which are consistent with historical records and are in accordance with the genetic analysis performed previously in this osteological collection, we can now state that the Lagos’s individuals were probably of African ancestry. Moreover, this study confirms the importance of investigating the ancestry in past populations."


The Optimized Summed Scored Attributes Method for the Classification of U.S. Blacks and Whites: A Validation Study
Michael W. Kenyhercz; Alexandra R. Klales; Christopher W. Rainwater; Sara M. Fredette

"U.S. blacks and whites express the cranial traits outlined by Hefner (6) and Hefner and Ousley (8) in different frequencies, which are particular to each group and can be used as a means of estimating ancestry. Through time, the expression of cranial traits has tended to become more intermediate, which might be explained through either secular change or admixture or a combination of both. Changing the suggested OSSA sectioning point from 3 to 4 improves total correct classification and reduces bias across the board, but especially in the modern sample. Given the changes in trait expression through time, it is suggested when examining modern forensic cases to increase the sectioning point to 4 for best classification accuracy."


Intraobserver Error in Macromorphoscopic Trait Data
Kelly R. Kamnikar; Amber M. Plemons; Joseph T. Hefner

"As is common practice in the United States, when assessing ancestry using craniometric techniques, macromorphometricians should also provide a broad assessment of ancestry (e.g., Hispanic, Colombian, African) first. Then, when possible, a finer level of analysis (e.g., Northern Mexico, Norte, 20th Century American Black) can also be provided, and may prove to be more meaningful to investigators who are searching through missing persons records, family reports of the missing, investigation records, etc.… regardless of the outwardly narrow needs of law enforcement or the medical examiner, who seek the peer-perceived ancestry of an unknown individual classified according to social race categories that have little biological meaning, forensic anthropologists—as observers of human variation—need to account for population-level variability."


The Macromorphoscopic Databank
Joseph T. Hefner

"The full potential of the MaMD includes the Amerindian dataset, which has boundless potential in repatriation efforts, whether as a tool for NAGPRA investigations or as a preliminary step in the analysis of remains suspected to be Native American based on contextual clues but with no biological data to support that supposition. As the Amerindian sample grows, so too, will the analytical component power of the MaMD. Whether combined with metric data, or used to develop new protocols for the identification of cultural affiliation, these data will surely provide a compulsory component to laboratories working to properly repatriate remains to respective descendant groups… Most modern forensic anthropologists have not ignored the level of variation within and between modern human populations; rather, they have embraced those differences and championed the spirit of our changing appreciation for the true nature of human variation. A general reluctance in shifting from the three-group model to a finer level of estimation (geographic origin, population, peer-perceived ancestry) has stymied both craniometric and cranial nonmetric (to include macromorphoscopic) trait analyses (Spradley and Hefner, 2016)."


Atlas of Human Cranial Macromorphoscopic Traits
Joseph T. Hefner & Kandus C. Linde

"The gross anatomy of each trait and their growth and development is important for understanding how, and potentially why, these traits are expressed differentially between populations, in addition to how they are correlatively expressed in the individual. The adaptive significance and functional morphology for each are similarly important for understanding some of the mechanisms behind their manifestation. To place these traits in a proper context, population-level data on trait manifestation is also provided. These data, drawn from the Macromorphoscopic Databank, are meant to provide the reader a quick guide on trait variability, without falling into the old, typological three-group model of extreme trait values. Of course, implementing these traits into casework is extremely important. Forensic anthropologists are routinely engaged to identify human skeletal remains, usually including some assessment of a decedent’s ancestry or geographic origin. To facilitate these analyses, a number of analytical methods are described in detail and include, when appropriate, code for their implementation."


Refining Asian Ancestry Classifications via Cranial Macromorphoscopic Traits
Amber M. Plemons; Joseph T. Hefner; Kelly R. Kamnikar

"Asian populations can be successfully classified into more refined groups, supporting the argument that traditional 3-group ancestry assignments are outdated and typological. Preliminary CAP results suggest MMS traits follow patterns of genetic and craniometric data. Further data refinement and more complex models looking at the interaction between these variables and tribal-level affiliations will be addressed in future research efforts using MMS data. MaMD contains bioarchaeological data useful for future biodistance analyses. The potential exists for studies to explore the relationship to craniometric and genetic data, as well as the influence of gene flow and climatic variables on MMS trait expression. Our results correspond to previous research documenting the effects of reduced gene flow due to geographic distance. Perhaps more importantly, we also noted higher than expected classifications within and between tribes allocated within a relatively small geographic region, demonstrating potential cultural boundaries on gene flow and the predictive power of macromorphoscopic trait data. Our results correspond to previous research documenting the effects of reduced gene flow due to geographic distance. Perhaps more importantly, we also noted higher than expected classifications within and between tribes allocated within a relatively small geographic region, demonstrating potential cultural boundaries on gene flow and the predictive power of macromorphoscopic trait data. "


Advances in Cranial Macromorphoscopic Trait and Dental Morphology Analysis for Ancestry Estimation
Marin Pilloud; Christopher Maier; G. Richard Scott; Joseph T. Hefner

"A final consideration with respect to cranial macromorphoscopic data is that the inheritance of these traits is not well understood. Research has indicated a relationship between some cranial macromorphoscopic traits and environmental variables (e.g., Roseman and Weaver, 2004). While the general consensus is that the environment plays a critical role in the expression of cranial nonmetric traits (e.g., Berry, 1975; Berry and Berry, 1967), the relative effects of environment and genetics on the inheritance of cranial macromorphoscopic traits remain to be thoroughly studied. However, a recent study by Adhikari et al. (2016) found a significant association between variation in midfacial morphology and four genomic regions contained in single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These five SNPs (EDAR, DCHS2, RUNX2, GLI3, and PAX1), which seem to govern the expression of ordinal-based nasal morphologies, also bear direct correlations to the expression of macromorphoscopic traits... As humans are not immune to the forces of evolution, populations will continue to change in ways that are unpredictable. It is therefore critical that forensic anthropologists engage in research on human variation in modem populations. Such research should include metric data of the skull and postcranium, as has been seen broadly in the literature; however, data on morphological variation of the cranium and teeth should not be ignored. These categorical data can now be subject to rigorous statistical analysis and should move beyond the realm of experience-based methods. There is ample room for additional data collection and the development of new and innovative methods for use within forensic anthropology on morphological data.”


Evaluating mixed-methods models for the estimation of ancestry from skeletal remains
Christopher Maier

"Many methods of ancestry estimation in forensic anthropology consider only a single type of data, e.g., metric or morphoscopic. These data are typically limited in scope, being derived from only a few skeletal regions—that is, cranium, dentition, or postcranial skeleton—and are not independent variables. Methods of ancestry estimation should incorporate this potential covariation into their estimates… Across all models, and ancestry groups, models based on the combination of cranial morphoscopic traits and dental morphology are the most accurate in estimating group membership."


Globalization, Transnationalism, and the Analytical Feasibility of Ancestry Estimation
Joseph T. Hefner & Jennifer F. Byrnes

"In the United States, social identity is closely associated with country of origin; transnationalism necessitates and warrants maintaining cultural and social ties to shared cultural and biological heritage. This means Asian is not the same as Pacific Islander or Indonesian, just like European is not the same as American White. The exponential growth in the number of immigrants entering and residing in the United States will be concomitantly linked to a rise in the number of individuals from those groups entering the forensic anthropological record (i.e., casework), making the already arduous task of ancestry estimation much more demanding."


Standardization of Postcranial Nonmetric Traits and Their Utility in Ancestry Analysis
Micayla C. Spiros

"It is salient to convey to the law enforcement that the “race” they are asking for might skew the investigation due to the broad classification system or the unknown biases of those involved with the case. It is imperative to record the ancestral estimation determined by objective methodologies and statistical analyses of error rates, and to stress the need to progress past the three-group division… Reliability and validity will continue to progress by studying more populations, applying robust statistical methods for classification, and continuing to refine the traits. For postcranial nonmetric traits, the current issues stem from the insufficient consensus on defining, identifying, and scoring the traits along with a lack of investigation of the frequencies between ancestral groups…By combining this approach with metric analyses, cranial macromorphoscopic data, and dental morphology methods that continuously demonstrate their necessary applicability for ancestry classifications of unknown individuals, postcranial nonmetric analyses can augment ancestry evaluations in forensic anthropology."


Missing Data Imputation Using Morphoscopic Traits and Their Performance in the Estimation of Ancestry
Michael Kenyhercz; Nicholas Vere Passalacqua; Joseph T. Hefner

"The statistical estimation of ancestry from crania with missing data using macromorphoscopic traits is actually a relatively straightforward endeavor. Different levels of missing data affect the effectiveness of various imputation techniques on macromorphoscopic cranial data and the accuracy of ancestry estimation from incomplete crania. When we are faced with missing macromorphoscopic data, IRMI should be used for imputation, as it consistently generated the highest levels of agreement and overall classification with the least amount of overall absolute bias. If more than half of observable data are missing in an individual case, imputation may not be appropriate. Nonetheless, abandoning statistical methods or analyses altogether in cases where data are missing is not an appropriate or effective analytical option."


“Officially absent but actually present”: Bioarchaeological evidence for population diversity in London during the Black Death, AD 1348–50
Rebecca C. Redfern; Joseph T. Hefner

"Our chapter investigates diversity from the perspective of human variation as expressed phenotypically—the physical characteristics of an individual/population—using the macromorphoscopic ancestry method. It aims to substantiate the “actually present,” with the discussion focusing on individuals of non-White European ancestry. It seeks to establish the ancestry of a subsample of 41 individuals buried in the Black Death cemetery of East Smithfield, unite these data with published light stable isotope work on childhood residency (Kendall, Montgomery, Evans, Stantis, & Mueller,2013) and extant mitrochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data (Klunk & Poinar, personal communication, 2017), and to combine these data with the osteological evidence for disease and indicators of stress. In order to understand and interpret these data, we have used the concept of marginalization, a paradigm which proposes that for many people and societies, they are unable to improve their conditions because of social, political, economic, physical, and environmental barriers (Chand, Nel, & Pelc, 2017)...This theory recognizes that different forms of oppression, inequality, and injustice (amongst others, racism, sexism, disability, andsocioeconomic statuses) interact and interrelate, and importantly raises the suggestion that there is no one experience of identity."


Nonmetric cranial trait variation and ancestry estimation in Asian and Asian‐derived groups
Megan L. Atkinson & Sean D. Tallman

"In order to explore trait variation among Native American, Japanese, and Thai groups, 35 nonmetric cranial and mandibular traits were collected from the 450 individuals. In the present study, the term “nonmetric” is applied in its broad sense to differentiate it from metric methods of analysis, and refers to all traits that are assessed on an ordinal scale, with some traits being visible in both hard and soft tissue structures (i.e. macromorphoscopic sensu Hefner)…Future research directions should be aimed at the continued refinement of ancestry estimation methods and the development of population-specific methods as more diverse skeletal collections are discovered and made available for study. Specifically, within the context of this study, future research aims will involve the refinement of the equations presented here using data from a more geographically diverse sample of Asian and Asian-derived individuals (e.g., Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Filipino)to incorporate more nonmetric variability in an effort to develop models that are more forensically applicable and encompassing of population variation."


Ancestry Estimation Using Cranial and Postcranial Macromorphoscopic Traits
Micayla C. Spiros & Joseph T. Hefner

"The results of this study certainly indicate the inclusion of postcranial morphology more thoroughly informs ancestry estimation models and results in higher classification accuracies…However, collecting more data for more groups will mean a more thorough and comprehensive grasp of their distribution. These data, particularly if associated with geographic, climactic, and genomic datasets, will provide insight into the causative forces of patterned geographic variability…The current analyses only include two groups, so a more thorough investigation of the frequency of these traits across additional populations—along with the underlying genetic and environmental factors contributing to their expression—is necessary."


Ancestry estimation in forensic anthropology: A review
Rhian R. Dunn; Micayla C. Spiros; Kelly R. Kamnikar; Amber M. Plemons; Joseph T. Hefner

"The discovery of DNA, the double helix, and population genetics led to the genomic revolution (Elkin, 2003), affecting every aspect of science, including cranial nonmetric trait analysis. The shift in emphasis to synthetic, collaborative analysis eventually led to the “new physical anthropology,” which inspired change across the field (Washburn, 1951). Within cranial nonmetric research, the pioneering work of Wood-Jones (1931a, 1931b) and Berry and Berry (1967) answered Washburn's call, shifting importance from trait description to trait quantification (Berry,1974, 1975; Berry & Berry, 1967, 1971, 1972; Corruccini, 197 4; Dodo & Ishida, 1987; Dodo, Ishida, & Saitou, 1992; Ishida, 1993; Laughlin & Jorgensen, 1956; Ossenberg, 1974a, 1974b; Wood-Jones, 1931a, 1931b). Most of the cranial nonmetric traits “new physical anthropologists” applied were the original “anomalies” now used as proxies for genetic data to measure relatedness, to interpolate marriage patterns and locality, and to identify family groups (Berry & B erry, 1967; Birkby, 1973; Buikstra, 197 6; Buikstra, Frankenberg, & Konisgberg, 1990; Hauser & de Stefano,1989; Irish, 2010; Jantz, 1973; Konisberg, 1987; Konisberg, 1990; Konisberg, Kohn, & Cheverud, 1993; Lane & Sub-lett, 1972; Ossenberg, 1974a, 1976; Spence, 1974)… Hefner and Ousley (2014) designated a subset of cranial nonmetric traits, referred to as cranial macromorphoscopic (MMS) traits. Cranial MMS traits are quasi-continuous cranial variables reflecting soft tissue differences in living individuals (Hefner & Linde, 2018; Pilloud, Maier, Scott, & Hefner, 2018). With standardization, increased vigor to explore cranial MMS data in a multifaceted arena has resulted in findings such as the high level of genetic dependence (Adhikari et al., 2016). These traits signaled a shift in cranial nonmetric research, providing a standardized, objective framework for forensic ancestry estimation (Hefner & Linde, 2018; Hefner & Ousley, 2014; Hefner & Spradley, 2018)."


Secular change in morphological cranial and mandibular trait frequencies in European Americans born 1824–1987
Grace S. Kilroy; Sean D. Tallman; Elizabeth A. DiGangi

"Understanding rates of secular change and the effects of secular change on the accuracy of ancestry estimation methods may improve the processes of identification in forensic contexts and in establishing accurate demographic profiles in bioarchaeological analyses…The results indicate that secular changes are present in the frequency distributions of cranial and mandibular morphological traits within the European American population, with the trends corresponding with previous researchers' findings (Jantz, 2001; Jantz & Meadows Jantz, 2000, 2016; Martin & Danforth, 2009; Vitek, 2012). While not all traits exhibit substantial levels of change, those that do represent a significant shift in trait expression consistently occurring during the late 1800s and early 1990s… Secular change has been shown to affect stature, cranial dimensions, the degree of sexual dimorphism, and now, morphological trait frequencies over relatively short periods of time. These considerable changes in morphological expression suggest that secular change has the potential to impact the utility of biological profile estimation methods in the future; however, this study did not statistically evaluate how the distribution of traits expressed for each individual aligned with expected European American trait frequencies."


Examining Differences in Presumed Migrants from Texas and Arizona Using Cranial and Dental Data
Christopher A. Maier & Rebecca L. George

"Considering macromorphoscopic traits of the cranium overall, the samples from the PCOME and OpID are significantly different from one another and from African American and European American comparative samples… The pattern of ancestry contributions in the two samples suggested by the expression of cranial macromorphoscopic traits is generally consistent with known demographics of the individuals that comprise those samples. Despite these general trends, a wide array of phenotypic expressions was observed among individuals in both samples, and no single trait could be consistently used to suggest membership in one group over the other…. Overall, these results support the further inclusion of dental morphology in estimating population affinity and demonstrate how the analysis of both cranial macromorphoscopic traits and dental morphology can result in a better appreciation of existing population variation."


Morphoscopic ancestry estimates in Filipino crania using multivariate probit regression models
Matthew C. Go & Joseph T. Hefner

"Multivariate probit models using morphoscopic traits perform well when populations are represented in both training and test samples. Probit can also accommodate individuals with missing data. Classifying Filipinos showed only moderate success. Filipinos are more phenotypically similar to Africans than the other Asian samples used here, but still affiliate most closely as Asian. Ancestry methods would benefit from including Filipinos as a reference sample given the additional variation they provide to the continental category of Asian."


Going south of the river : a multidisciplinary analysis of ancestry, mobility and diet in a population from Roman Southwark, London
Rebecca C. Redfern; Darren R. Gröcke; Andrew R. Millard; Victoria Ridgeway; Lucie Johnson; Joseph T. Hefner

"In this study, our aim was to investigate the southern settlement of Londinium an area which, since the foundation of the settlement in A.D. 48, is believed to have been inhabited by a less prosperous but diverse community of people (Wallace, 2015; Cowan et al., 2009). The study employed a method devised by one of the authors, macromorphoscopics, an approach which hitherto, has not been used to assess ancestry in Roman-British populations and to combine it with stable isotope data about diet and childhood residency… In total, the macromorphoscopic data (character state manifestations and frequency distributions within the sample) indicate a relatively heterogeneous population, likely reflecting the complex population history (e.g., immigration, emigration, gene flow) of Londinium during this period… The carbon and nitrogen isotopes point towards a settled life in northern Europe with limited consumption of marine foods. On the other hand, the oxygen isotopes suggest that a significant proportion of the population, in particular burials 2, 15, 33, 44 and 45, were immigrants to Britain who had spent their childhood in a climate like that of the Mediterranean. Likewise, study of population affiliation suggests that a significant proportion of the population, notably burials 3, 18, 27, 29, 33 and 64 are likely to have had African or Asian ancestry."


Evaluating population affinity estimates in forensic anthropology: Insights from the forensic anthropology database for assessing methods accuracy (FADAMA)
Allysha P. Winburn & Bridget Algee‐Hewitt

"Population affinity provides a way for forensic anthropologists to classify skeletal individuals into categories that are socially and historically relevant; but our discipline must work to develop models that allow for the full diversity of inter- and intra-group skeletal and dental variation. As we do so, we will build upon the work that has come before—from discriminant function analyses of craniometric variation through advanced statistical analyses of macromorphoscopic traits and genetic-inspired approaches to craniometry, and now to the possibility of a finer-grained population affinity approach. Each development within the study of regionally patterned human skeletal and dental variation is another turn on the pathway toward the shared goal of theoretically grounded analyses of human variation that equitably serve all casework decedents. Each development provides an opportunity for the field to come together, build theory, and strengthen methods."


Please contact me if you would like your MMS related research to be included on this timeline.