First cuneometatarsal joints are normally characterized by a single articulating facet. In some cases, however, they may bear some degree of division into two, or even three, distinct facets. Typically, double facets at this joint are interpreted as evidence of partial or complete division of the medial cuneiform earlier in development, though evidence to support this interpretation is limited. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between double facets and bipartition by comparing the sex ratio in double-faceted medial cuneiforms from two Euro-American skeletal samples, with the unbalanced sex ratio found in cases of complete bipartition of the medial cuneiform. Upon examination, no statistically significant differences were found in double-facet frequency between females and males, and the sex ratio differed significantly from that seen in known cases of bipartite medial cuneiform. These results suggest that the existence of double facets distally on the medial cuneiform is likely not exclusively indicative of developmental bipartition, a conclusion also supported by reports of divided distal surfaces in non-bipartite medial cuneiforms in some prenatal specimens. Furthermore, medial cuneiforms bearing three facets distally to the first metatarsal sometimes occur, possibly more frequently in individuals of advanced age. Ultimately, understanding distal facet patterns on the medial cuneiform may hold significance for understanding joint mobility and susceptibility to hallux valgus deformity in hominins from both bioarchaeological and paleoanthropological perspectives.
Japanese people are widely believed to be the descendants of the Jomon and Yayoi people. The dual-structure model, which attempts to explain the formation of the Japanese population, hypothesizes that the indigenous Jomon people migrated from the northern island of Hokkaido and the Ryukyu Islands to the other islands of Japan, where they resided before the Yayoi started to arrive in Kyushu (the westernmost main island of the Japanese archipelago) from the Korean peninsula. Regarding Y chromosome DNA polymorphisms, it is assumed that Jomon males frequently belong to haplogroups C or D, while Yayoi males frequently belong to haplogroup O. These findings suggest that the frequencies of haplogroup C, D, and O might differ between Hokkaido and northern Kyushu males and exhibit geographical gradients in Japan. However, the data of Y chromosome haplogroup frequencies in modern Japanese males is still limited. Here, we investigated whether the frequency of Y chromosome haplogroups differs between males from different regions of Japan. We recruited 2390 males from nine populations in seven cities in mainland Japan and typed their Y chromosome haplogroups. We did not detect any marked variability in the frequencies of these haplogroups among Japanese males, except for a difference between Nagasaki and Kawasaki students. In conclusion, modern Japanese males appear to be genetically homogenized in mainland Japan because of genetic drift and recent frequent gene flow.
This study quantifies the population history of Iron Age nomads of southern Siberia by analyzing craniofacial diversity among contemporaneous Bronze and Iron Age (7th–2nd centuries BC) groups and compares them to a larger geographic sample of modern Siberian and Central Asian populations. In our analyses, we focus on peoples of the Tagar and Pazyryk cultures, and Iron Age peoples of the Tuva region. Twenty-six cranial landmarks of the vault and facial skeleton were analyzed on a total of 461 ancient and modern individuals using geometric morphometric techniques. Male and female crania were separated to assess potential sex-biased migration patterns. We explore southern Siberian population history by including Turkic-speaking peoples, a Xiongnu Iron Age sample from Mongolia, and a Bronze Age sample from Xinjiang. Results show that male Pazyryk cluster closer to Iron Age Tuvans, while Pazyryk females are more isolated. Conversely, Tagar males seem more isolated, while Tagar females cluster amongst an Early Iron Age southern Siberian sample. When additional modern Siberian samples are included, Tagar and Pazyryk males cluster more closely with each other than females, suggesting possible sex-biased migration amongst different Siberian groups. This is evident in modern female Tuva, who cluster with modern female Kalmyk, while modern Tuvan males do not. Male and female Iron Age Tuvans are not closely related to modern Tuvan peoples living in the region today, resulting from the influx of the Xiongnu beginning in the Late Iron Age. Both male and female Pazyryk and Tagar crania appear more similar to Central Asia groups, especially the Kazakh and Uzbek samples. However, there is evidence that Tagar females have a common origin with the Yakut, a modern nomadic population that resides in northeastern Siberia. These results would suggest variable genetic contributions for both sexes from Central and East Asia.
The Early Pleistocene human fossil remains recovered from the TD6 lithostratigraphic unit of the Gran Dolina cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain, show a mosaic of primitive and derived features. Among the latter, the modern human-like midfacial topography, as well as several synapomorphies shared with some European Middle Pleistocene hominin and Neanderthals, represents a challenge for the phylogenetic interpretation of Homo antecessor. Using an ontogenetic approach of the maxilla ATD6-69, Freidline et al. (Journal of Human Evolution, 65: 404–423 (2013)) have confirmed previous observations that H. antecessor adults had a set of facial features characterizing H. sapiens. However, Freidline and collaborators proposed that the evolution of modern-looking facial morphology occurred independently in Africa, Asia, and Europe and at several times during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene. Following their line of reasoning, the presence in H. antecessor of some features shared with the European Middle Pleistocene hominins and the Neanderthal lineage could also be interpreted as convergences. However, instead of supposing multiple, parallel evolution, we suggest that a more parsimonious interpretation envisages the hypothetical existence of an Early Pleistocene hominin population, from which several hominin lineages originate and inherit particular combinations of derived features. The TD6 hominins probably represent a side branch of this cladogenetic event, which evolved in Western Europe.
An archaeological survey at the church of Nossa Senhora da Anunciada (Setúbal, Portugal) uncovered the remains of 92 individuals. Historical and archaeological data suggest that the inhumations occurred between 1531 and 1839. The present work reports the pathological features of a mature male individual exhibiting multiple osseous bony projections and bone deformity, mainly affecting the metaphyseal and adjacent diaphyseal regions of the long bones. The macroscopic and the radiological analyses of the lesions suggest multiple osteochondromas as the most probable diagnosis. This is the first archaeological case of this disease known on the Portuguese territory and in southern Europe.