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Medieval migrations and the birth of modern British peoples: a craniometric approach

Valoriani, S, Irish, JD, King, M and Borrini, M (2023) Medieval migrations and the birth of modern British peoples: a craniometric approach. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, 15. ISSN 1866-9557

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Craniometric characteristics have long been used to reconstruct among-group variation, potential migration routes and ancestral origins. This study presents results of the comparison of 946 individuals from 16 British medieval sites using craniometric analyses. The purpose is to determine: 1) if observable cranial variation exists among British medieval groups, 2) whether it can best be detected from neurocranial or facial measurements, and 3) the potential causes of these differences. The data were analyzed with multivariate statistical analyses. A selection of 18 variables recorded on each cranium was used for comparison among separately pooled males and females for each site. Principal component analysis was carried out on the mean measurements for these pooled samples to detect differences.The results support findings from previous studies indicating a observable difference in measurements among British samples. Male and female samples follow the same grouping pattern, indicating the validity of the statistical analysis. Both neurocranial and facial measurements contribute to the variability of the groups analyzed. The differences in craniometric measurements are likely determined by immigration from other European areas. Samples from British towns where migration occurred more frequently during and before the Middle Ages (i.e., Hythe, London and Scarborough) support this difference. These towns were major ports, and the movement of people was frequent, with various migrant groups selectively populating them (e.g., Scandinavian, Icelandic, Flemish, French). This is supported by correspondence of the results with historical and archaeological records.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0399 Other Chemical Sciences; 0403 Geology; 2101 Archaeology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 11:14
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 11:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s12520-023-01824-2
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20413
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