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Contribution of the calvaria bones thickness arrangements to the diagnosis and the differentiation of artificial cranial modifications in pre-Hispanic West Mesoamerican populations

Apports des variations d’épaisseur des os de la calvaria dans l’identification et la caractérisation des pratiques de modifications artificielles du crâne dans des populations pré-hispaniques de l’Occident mésoaméricain
Sélim Natahi, Michael Coquerelle, Véronique Darras, Brigitte Faugère, Christopher T. Fisher, Grégory Pereira et Priscilla Bayle

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1Identifying and differentiating artificial cranial modifications (ACM) is of major concern for (bio)archaeologists as such information can shed light on the social and/or cultural identity of an individual. Yet, this remains challenging as archaeological contexts are rarely suitable to an excellent preservation of bones. It has been proposed that under mechanical constraints such as in ACM, the growth of the brain is constrained in certain directions, which results in a re-arrangement of cranial vault thickness (CVT). Within this context, we tested if ACM are likely to disrupt the physiological arrangement of the CVT and if the CVT could be used to reliably identify and/or characterize ACM in cases where the cranial remains are fragmentary. We have considered a computed tomography sample of 35 West Mesoamerican unmodified and modified skulls displaying different ACM types. The shapes of the calvaria bones (the frontal, occipital and the two parietal bones) of each individual have been quantified using (semi)landmarks and 3D geometric morphometrics. CVT has been calculated for each semilandmark and the covariation between each calvaria bone shape and the CVT measurements was evaluated using two-block partial least-squares analyses. Significant covariations between calvaria bones shape and CVT measurements have been recorded. Independently of the ACM variant considered, the flattening of the frontal bone is always associated with a reduced CVT. Protruding parietal and flattened occipital regions are both associated with an increase in CVT. The means values of CVT are equivalent for each calvaria bone when the ACM and the unmodified groups are compared. This suggests that a mechanism likely compensates the thinning and thickening of the CVT due to the ACM during ontogeny. The specific patterns of CVT thinning and thickening observed within each calvaria bone stress the importance of using CVT for the identification and differentiation of ACM in West Mesoamerica.

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Sélim Natahi, Michael Coquerelle, Véronique Darras, Brigitte Faugère, Christopher T. Fisher, Grégory Pereira et Priscilla Bayle, « Contribution of the calvaria bones thickness arrangements to the diagnosis and the differentiation of artificial cranial modifications in pre-Hispanic West Mesoamerican populations »Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 34(S) | 2022, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2021, consulté le 18 avril 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/9179 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.9179

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Auteurs

Sélim Natahi

Department of Human Evolution Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Leipzig, Germany
selim.natahi[at]gmail.com

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Michael Coquerelle

Department of Medicine and Surgery (Stomatology Area), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Spain

Véronique Darras

ArchAm UMR 8096, CNRS, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Maison René-Ginouvès, Nanterre, France

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Brigitte Faugère

ArchAm UMR 8096, CNRS, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Maison René-Ginouvès, Nanterre, France

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Christopher T. Fisher

Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

Grégory Pereira

ArchAm UMR 8096, CNRS, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Maison René-Ginouvès, Nanterre, France

Articles du même auteur

Priscilla Bayle

PACEA UMR 5199, CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, Ministère de la Culture, Pessac, France

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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