A Statistical Investigation of Nonmetric Vertebral Traits with a Skeletal Population Sample from the Dakhleh Oasis
Nonmetric traits have been a fixture in human studies but its true potential for genetic inferences and distance analyses was not realized until the 1960’s. Focus has mainly rested on cranial nonmetric traits while the prospective of infracranial traits for testing intertrait correlation and for use in intrapopulation analysis has not been adequately addressed. Using a skeletal sample from the Dakhleh Oasis, this thesis tests the suitability of 17 vertebral traits for nonmetric studies looking closely at kinship analysis and significance of intertrait correlation in the population. Phi-coefficient and odds ratio along with various spatial statistics were used in this study. The results revealed that intertrait correlation is occurring at a significant level in the population; traits need to be further examined in order to be used for genetic distance studies, and the use of rare infracranial traits have great promise for kinship studies.