International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Černý V, 1996: Cranial Variation of Eneolithic and Bronze Age People in Bohemia. Anthropologie (Brno) 34, 3: 333-341'.
The paper presents an assessment of the morphological affinities of Bohemian Late Eneolithic and Bronze Age skulls by application of some multivariate statistical methods. Because of the limited amount of metrical information concerning the Early Eneolithic and Middle Bronze Age periods, only 207 male skulls from 77 localities could become the object of statistical analysis. They could be attributed to four cultural groups representing, at the same time, chronological periods (Corded Ware Culture, Bell Beaker Culture, Únětice Culture and Knovíz Culture). Quantitative comparisons by means of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) and non-parametrical tests made it possible to state that the cranial variation is high if the cultural groups (chronological phases) are used as grouping variable. Significant oscillation ofanthropometric characteristics, particularly of the neurocranial segment, was evident. On the other hand, metrical characteristics of the facial segment (bizygomatic breadth, orbital breadth and height, and especially nasal height) appear to be stable in the above mentioned periods. It is also interesting to note that according to the neurocranial variation it was possible to undertake the discrimination of all four cultural groups on the 0. 05 significance level, whilst the facial variables provided a successful tool for division only in the case of the Únětice versus the Knovíz culture. As to the different regional provenance the skulls do not vary significantly. Those from Central Bohemia are a little bit more brachycrane and hypsicrane when compared with those of North-Western Bohemia. Cluster analysis produced a very clear separation of the skulls attributed to the Bell Beaker period, as well as an indication of similarity of the Corded Ware and the Únětice anthropological finds. Apparent oscillation of the neurocranial segment which is regarded as having a limited taxonomical value in population genetics studies, is discussed in association with sudden and oppositional changes of the burial rite in Late Eneolithic society, which could possibly be paralleled by changes within the mating systems. This way of reasoning may need further and more profound examination of morphological changes in the populations discussed as well as a confrontation with genetic studies of homosis and heterosis in human populations.
Eneolithic - Bronze Age - Cranial variation - Multivariate analysis - Paleo-population genetics

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