Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Richard L. Jantz

Committee Members

Richard J. Jendrucko, Fred H. Smith, William M. Bass


The postcraniometrics of the Arikara, a Plains Indian group, are analyzed to determine biological relationships. The sample studied is composed of 634 individuals from 10 archaeological sites, all from the state of South Dakota, and ranging in date from A.D. 1600 to 1832.

The data are analyzed with a variety of statistical methodologies; univariate as well as multivariate.

The results show a consistent patterning to the within-group variation, identifying common elements of postcranial structure. The groups analyzed however, show very little group heterogeneity along the lines of the intrapopulation variation. This is contrary to results obtained by several craniometric studies conducted on the Arikara. The results of the present analysis, in conjunction with those of others, tend to indicate that the postcranial skeleton is unusually homogeneous over broad ethnic categories.

An analysis of the patterns of Arikara sexual dimorphism indicate that despite a well documented increase in environmental stress over time, there is no change in the level of sexual dimorphism. These results tend to support the hypothesis of a strong genetic component to changing patterns of sexual dimorphism.

Future studies need to incorporate analyses of other Plains Indian groups in order to substantiate or disprove the results presented here.

Data collection for the work was supported by NSF Grant BNS 8102650.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."

Included in

Anthropology Commons