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(Reference retrieved automatically from SciELO through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Cranial morphology of the human skeletal remains from Lapa do Santo, Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil: implications for the settlement of the Americas

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Walter Alves Neves ; Mark Hubbe ; André Menezes Strauss ; Danilo Vicensotto Bernardo
Total Authors: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Ciênc. hum.; v. 9, n. 3, p. 715-740, Dez. 2014.

The karstic region of Lagoa Santa has been highly important for the discussion about the tempo and mode of the initial human dispersal into the Americas. Lapa do Santo rockshelter, excavated during the past decade, represents to date one of the largest collections of early Holocene human remains recovered from the region. Here we analyze the morphological affinities of Lapa do Santo individuals with other early series from Lagoa Santa and Colombia, contextualizing them within the modern human cranial variation across the planet. Our analyses, performed on a total of 2,059 skulls (1,071 males and 988 females), are based on complementary multivariate approaches, aiming to characterize the within-group variance and the between-group morphological affinities of the 24 series included in the analyses. Our results indicate that Lapa do Santo, and other Lagoa Santa, individuals do not present higher levels of within-group variation than modern human groups, supporting the idea that they represent a single biological population. When compared to worldwide series, the early South American groups, Lapa do Santo included, share high morphological affinities among themselves and with Australo-Melanesian and Easter Island groups. Taken together, these results suggest an increase of biological diversity in the continent during the Holocene, possibly a result of the influx of new extra-continental diversity after its initial settlement. (AU)