Human skeletal remains of a total of 190 individuals were excavated in Kitamura Site (Nagano Pref., middle to late Jomon; ca. 4000-3000 B.P.). The morphology of Kitamura people were generally similar to the contemporary Jomon people in brachycephaly, narrow and high semicylindrical nasal bone at the nasal root, and relatively flat limb bones. The custom of tooth extraction is absent. The differences in the diet from that of coastal Jomon people resulted in the extremely low frequency of the dental caries and the high frequency of the enamel hypoplasia. The relatively high percentage of aged individuals is a major characteristic of Kitamura Site.
Osteoporosis was discovered in three individuals out of nine skeletons excavated in Mukai, Tokyo. The materials were dated to the late stage of the Edo period. The severely deformed thoracic and lumbar vertebrae were from mature and elderly individuals. In the first case, the 8th thoracic to the 5th lumbar vertebral bodies showed the so-called “fish vertebrae.” The traces of Schmorl's nodes were also visible in the upper two lumbar vertebrae. This individual probably had a kyphotic deformity resulting from wedging of the 10th to 12th thoracic vertebral bodies. In the second case, both the 12th thoracic and the 3rd lumbar vertebral bodies were wedge-shaped, the latter exhibiting a slight formation of “fish vertebra.” In the final case, the centrally indented body of the 4th lumbar vertebra contained a Schmorl's node. It is highly possible that the vertebral deformations are due to heavy labor in agriculture, as well as to chronic malnutrition among those who lived in Mukai in the late Edo period.
A burial site of the early phase of the Okhotsk culture was found at the Hamanaka-2 site, Rebun Island, Hokkaido, from which an adult female human skeleton was unearthed. This is the oldest extant human remains from the Okhotsk culture. Both measurements and nonmetric traits of the skeleton showed that she has common physical characteristics with the Northern Mongoloid populations. Because her skeletal morphology shows a contrast to those of the Jomon, Epi-Jomon and Ainu peoples, we reconfirmed the earlier conclusion that the Okhotsk people were originated in the northern area including the Sakhalin and Amur region and then migrated into the northern Hokkaido with their culture. Severe dental wear had caused apical periodontitis around the left lower first molar, secondarily resulting in tooth fracture. Compression fractures affected the first and third lumbar vertebrae, probably because of osteoporosis.
In this study the volumes of the humeral head and the receiving space for the humerus head in the scapular glenoid region were measured and compared in Jomon, Ainu, and modern Kanto Japanese samples. It was assumed that the size and space of these two skeletal structures reflect each culture's daily activities. A three-dimensional analysis is introduced that would more precisely clarify the morphological and functional relationship between these two structures. An analysis of the volumes revealed that the male humerus head and the receiving space in the scapular glenoid region were significantly larger than those of females in all the three populations, with the least sex differences being noted in the Jomon scapulae. Further, there was a tendency toward smaller side differences in the humerus head than in the scapular glenoid space. The ratios of volumes between these two structures indicated smaller ratios in the Jomon than those in the Kanto. These results, together with previous studies, suggested that the mobility and stability of the shoulder joint were more “muscularly supported” in the Jomon, as opposed to the more “skeletally supported” structure of the modern Kanto Japanese. The Ainu sample fell between the Jomon and modern Kanto groups. It is probable that these differences occurred as a result of morphological adaptation to a changing environment.
The skeletal composition of the lacrimal fossa, classifiable as a totally lacrimal lacrimal fossa (L-LF) or a maxillo-lacrimal lacrimal fossa (ML-LF), was observed in 1890 skulls of cercopithecids. The incidence of the L-LF is highly variable among cercopithecines, and is very low or non-existent in colobines as well as in hominoids. This finding, as well as the findings of Benefit and McCrossin (1993), negates Strasser and Delson (1987), who list the L-LF as a cercopithecine synapomoiphy with an ideally concordant distribution, and leads to a revised cladistic hypothesis of this character. The diversity of the L-LF among cercopithecine taxa cannot be wholly explained by a single factor such as facial elongation or terrestiality, but contains several patterns congruent with recent evolutionary hypotheses.
Data are presented on the distribution of blood group genetic markers in Gypsies (Roms) from Slovakia. A high frequency of the B allele of the ABO system (0.227), and a low A/B gene frequency ratio (1.04), as well as a high frequency of the CCDee phenotype (0.471) and of the Cde haplotype (0.600) are significantly different from those of the Slovak population, and resemble closely the relevant frequencies reported from different Indian populations. The frequency of the Fy allele is also much higher (0.169) than the European standards, and implies that the motherland of Gypsies in India might have been a malaric area. The results indicate that a) the gene pool of the Gypsy population differs from that of the indigenous Europeans, b) in general, the nature of the differences is such that they support the assumption of the Indian origin of Gypsies with Northern India as an unlikely candidate, c) the interpopulation genetic variability among the European Gypsy populations is extensive and significant, and its most likely cause is genetic drift.
To make clear the diversity of adolescent growth, spline-smoothed individual velocity curves of stature, body weight and chest circumference of 44 girls in Tokyo, of which menarche was recorded correctly, were provided. Additionally, 25 variables of ages at peak velocity, intensities, sizes and weight at the peak and at menarche, and terminal height were obtained. One subject girl lacked a growth spurt of chest circumference, and 12 girls lacked one of the takeoffs, of which 9 had occurred before age 7. On an average, take-off for height occurs at age 8.5, then that for weight at 8.8, for chest circumference at 9.1, height peak at 11.1, weight peak at 11.7, chest circumference peak at 11.8, menarche at 12.3, and terminal height at 14.4 years.