Karapetian M.K.  

Human cranial vault thickness revisited (with new data on craniological collections from Caucasus)

In recent works [Карапетян, 2018, 2019], a literature review on the current state of research on the cranial vault thickness (CVT) was presented, and new data on CVT in cranial samples from Siberia and the Aleutian Islands were introduced. According to the literature, the average CVT in humans is about 6.8 mm in at bregma, 6.0 mm at mid-frontal point and 8.1 mm at lambda. The minimum average values of this dimension was recorded for female samples from Western Europe, and the maximum – in Australian aborigines and late Pleistocene Homo sapiens from Australia. However, data on many population groups are absent, including groups from Caucasus. The report presents the first data on CVT of Abkhazians and Ossetians from a series of 22 computer tomograms (CT) representing collections Yashu-Akhu (Abkhazia, modern times) and Koban (Ossetia, XVI-XVIII centuries) of the Research Institute and Museum of Anthropology, Lomonosov Moscow state University. Measurements were made in Amira software, at bregma (B), middle frontal (MF), lambda (La) and external occipital protuberance. Also the average thickness values of frontal (F) and occipital (O) in the sagittal plane were obtained. The measurement error varies on an average from 0.2 to 0.3 mm for all points, except for the thickness at the external occipital protuberance, where the average error reached 0.6 mm., the highest measurement accuracy was achieved at bregma and lambda, as well as for the average thickness of the frontal bone. In both samples, the occipital bone was thicker than the frontal bone. In the Yashu-Akhu sample all measurements were lower than in the Koban sample. In both groups, the CVT was noticeably lower than these values in the previously studied samples from Siberia. The possible factors that affect the variability of the studied parameters are discussed. The work was financed by the RFBR grant № 17-29-04125.

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