Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Eldon Molto


This paleogenetic study utilizes 17 nonmetric epigenetic vertebral traits to determine their suitability for studying past genetic relationships. The samples utilized were from Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis. Though infracranial nonmetric traits have a limited role in the study of past population genetics, this study has shown their value for elucidating past genetic patterns for intragroup analysis. The key to their utilization is to test the epigenetic factors (e.g., age, sex, symmetry and intertrait correlations) which were done using a number of statistical tests including Phi coefficient, G-test and the Odds ratio. This study utilized a novel set of spatial statistics to examine within-group genetic dynamics of the Kellis 2 cemetery. Five traits support previous research that demonstrated this cemetery was organized along patrilocal and patrilineal lines. This thesis has demonstrated the genetic value of vertebral epigenetic traits and argues for their continued use in paleogenetic research.