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Revisiting the Question of Neandertal Regional Variability: a View from the Rhône Valley Corridor

Abstract : We compared the dental assemblage of the Rhône Valley corridor (RVC) with that of European Neandertals dating to MOIS 7-4 using two linear measurements and three indices. To test if the RVC population was significantly different from Western European Neandertals, we preformed a multi-tiered approached. First, we tested for the normality of the variables using a Shapiro-Wilks test. If the variables were normal, a stepwise Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) (using Mahalanobis distances) was performed for the normally distributed variables. DFA uses correlation metrics to address weight combinations of variables and emphasizes between group variation while minimizing within group variation. Results show that there is no distinction between the RVC population and other Neandertals except for the Crown Module index of the upper canine. However, the presence of a single significant result does not provide evidence for a local RVC variant within the Neandertal population. These results are supported by evidence from archaeological analysis of this region. We propose that the high genetic control for dental size and shape may account for the reduced ability to distinguish between subpopulation groups based on dental dimensions in groups with small effective size such as the Neandertals.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00589359
Contributor : Gisèle Geoffroy Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 5:07:30 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 10:32:03 AM

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Silvana Condémi, Jean-Luc Voisin, Miriam Belmaker, Marie-Hélène Moncel. Revisiting the Question of Neandertal Regional Variability: a View from the Rhône Valley Corridor. Collegium anthropologicum, 2010, 34 (3), pp.787-796. ⟨halshs-00589359⟩

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