Arikara subadult craniofacial development: A cross-sectional growth study in three dimensions

Diane Louise Markowitz, University of Pennsylvania


The Smithsonian collection of subadult skulls from several Arikara cemetery sites was studied in order to examine craniofacial growth and development in this population. Fifty-two specimens ranging in dental age (after the method of Moorrees, Fanning and Hunt, 1963) from 1 to 19 years underwent 61 separate craniometric measurements. Digitized measurements were obtained from tracings of lateral cephalometric and submentovertex radiographs. Hotelling's T$\sp2$ established that certain measurements commonly obtained from lateral cephalometric radiographs consistently underestimated dimensions in which one or more endpoints was located lateral to the sagittal plane. In common with many Asian populations, the Arikara displayed a pattern of development notable for consistent increases in craniofacial width, posterior and total facial height and a significant decrease in the gonial angle throughout the subadult years. Unlike some Asian populations, however, the Arikara displayed significant nasal development, demonstrated both in length of the midface and anterior and superior relocation of nasion throughout the subadult years. The considerable craniofacial width seen in the older age range of this population is shown to have developed secondary to a significantly longer and more intense period of increase in the width of the floor of the middle cranial fossa (lateral to the sphenooccipital synchondrosis) than is seen in samples of North American white, African American or British children of similar dental age. Angular relationships changed very little in this sample throughout the subadult years, with the exception of angles describing progressive upward and anterior rotations of the mandible and lateral and posterior translation of the temporomandibular fossae. Craniofacial anomalies, such as a large destructive frontal sinus lesion, craniosynostoses and an occipitalized atlas are present in this sample, as are signs of trauma, such as depressed skull fractures and cut marks left by scalping. Left-right asymmetries were shown, with canonical correlations, principal components analysis and logistic regressions, to be the result of the pressure of overburden and not exclusively secondary to these craniofacial anomalies. A cross-sectional atlas of Arikara craniofacial growth is appended.

Subject Area

Physical anthropology|Dental care|Anatomy & physiology

Recommended Citation

Markowitz, Diane Louise, "Arikara subadult craniofacial development: A cross-sectional growth study in three dimensions" (1995). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9532241.