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From Limb to Limb: An Analysis of Postcranial Measurements in Prehistoric and Protohistoric Inuit Populations from Golovnin Bay and Nunivak Island, Alaska
AuthorYeats, Sarah Michelle
AdvisorScott, Richard G.
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Postcranial analyses provide a great deal of information about earlier populations regarding their origins and responses to various environmental stressors. Prehistoric and protohistoric postcranial remains from Golovnin Bay and Nunivak Island were analyzed for three types of variables: stature, relative limb proportions and robusticity. An analysis of these traits allows inferences on climatic and nutritional pressures that impact the human body. Stature estimation yielded results that were consistent with contemporaneous Arctic and northeast Asian populations yet were significantly different from the stature of other world populations. Relative limb proportions and robusticity indices also suggest the two sample populations were cold adapted like other Arctic and northeast Asian populations and differed significantly in these variables from temperate and tropical world populations. The results of the comparisons to other Arctic and world populations highlights the level of cold adaptation that the populations from Golovnin Bay and Nunivak Island possess. Their short, yet robust limbs were beneficial in an extreme, cold environment.