2009 Volume 117 Issue 2 Pages 121-132
This paper examines the population affinity of the Okhotsk-culture people who settled along the northeastern coastal areas of the islands of Hokkaido and Sakhalin during the 5th and 11th centuries, on the bases of dental metric and nonmetric features. Based on neighbor-joining analyses of both metric and nonmetric data, the Okhostk people, eastern Siberians, and subarctic American natives were linked more closely to each other than to other East Asian and Pacific samples. In particular, the nonmetric data analysis demonstrated the close linkage between the Okhotsk people and tribes in the Amur River Basin, suggesting that the Okhotsk people were descended from eastern Siberians who might share common ancestry with the present-day Amur people and subarctic Americans. Beside the above demonstration of Okhotsk affinities among the populations settling along the Circum Sea of the Okhotsk rim, as far as the metric dental traits are concerned, close resemblances were found between the Okhotsk, Neolithic Jomon, and Hokkaido Ainu. However, with regard to their overall dental characteristics, it is not clear whether such odontmetric similarities indicate the evidence of substantial genetic interaction between the Okhotsk and Jomon–Ainu lineages, because their nonmetric traits data indicate a quite distant relationship from each other.