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Intersecciones en antropología

versión On-line ISSN 1850-373X


BEGUELIN, Marien  y  BARRIENTOS, Gustavo. Postcranial morphometric variation in late Holocene human remains from Patagonia: a biogeographic approach. Intersecciones antropol. [online]. 2006, n.7, pp.49-62. ISSN 1850-373X.

During the last five years a number of studies have been carried out that examined different hypotheses regarding the evolutionary dynamics of late Holocene human populations in the Pampas and Patagonia in central and southern Argentina. This research is primarily based on morphological evidence and has its theoretical roots in evolutionary geography. Following this line of inquiry, the aim of the present paper is to perform an exploratory analysis -taking into account some general biogeographic premises- of some aspects of postcranial phenotypic variation using skeletal samples from Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The samples, composed of adult male and female individuals, were arranged into four geographic groups corresponding to 5-degree wide latitudinal strips beginning at 40° South. Ten metric variables were measured on four bones (humerus, radius, femur and tibia). On the basis of femur maximum length and the brachial and crural indexes, several intra and intergroup statistical comparisons using one-way, two-way ANOVA and LSD were performed. The results obtained suggest that there is an intelligible pattern of geographic variation in the postcranial skeleton which can be explained by the convergence of different factors and processes, such as a) climatic adaptation and low- to medium-range migratory movements (central and southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego); b) medium- to long-range migration (northern Patagonia); and c) insularity (Tierra del Fuego).

Palabras clave : Biogeography; Climatic adaptation; Postcranial skeleton; Patagonia.

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