Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Lee M. Jantz

Committee Members

Richard L. Jantz, Ellen M. Lofaro


The study of secular change is the study of changes that have taken place in the human body during recent centuries. Although changes that affect populations are generally understood to occur over many centuries and millennia, anthropological studies have shown that population changes have occurred in the last two centuries, over a relatively small time period comprising a mere two hundred years. Biological anthropologists in particular are interested in how the human skeleton has changed in recent history, whether in the limbs, the torso, or the cranium. Changes have been observed in all areas of the skeleton, and these changes to do not occur in all populations equally. To better understand not only what these changes are, but why and how they happen, anthropologists have studied secular change within populations. This thesis is a study of secular change in one population – ethnic Croatians – with an attempt to define the changes and contribute to the larger global study of the subject. In this thesis, I use craniometric data that was collected by other researchers but never analyzed. The study focuses on males, because of the lack of female data available in the sample, and because previous studies have already shown that secular change occurs differently between the sexes. I analyze cranial data of 147 male individuals whose birth dates span a range of 161 years. Using polynomial regression analysis, I look at ten craniometric measurements and three derived measurements in order to ascertain whether any change has occurred in the Croatian male population, what the changes are, and how they compare to other populations that have been studied. The results reveal that secular changes have occurred in that cranium in the Croatian population, although the location and magnitude of the changes differ slightly from other European or European-descended populations that have been previously studied.

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