Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Richard L. Jantz

Committee Members

P.S. Willey, William M. Bass, Gary F. McCracken


Inter-finger ridge count variability has been shown to discriminate among major racial groups. However, little has been accomplished in the way of demonstrating patterned dispersion of inter-finger ridge count variability among groups of a major population. Here, multivariate techniques are used in a series of discovery procedures to search for systematic variability of finger ridge count contrasts among 48 male and 47 female European groups. Among-group biological variability of each sex is defined by principal components analysis, using the finger ridge count means of each group and a pooled within-group, within-sex covariance matrix having 5,474 degrees of freedom. Multiple regression analysis and spatial autocorrelation are used to compare biological group dispersion to geographic and linguistic dispersion. Among-group geographic variability is defined by the variation among group locations on a regression plane, and by specific inter-group direction and distance classes. The discovery of patterned among-group biological variability in a northwest direction is concordant with studies which used serological variables to define among-group biological variability. The findings are interpreted as evidence in support of a Neolithic demic expansion of Near Eastern agriculturalists.

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Anthropology Commons