We carried out an exploratory historical biology study using temporally distinguished groups of predynastic–Early Dynastic male crania from the region of Upper Egypt. The objectives were, first, to determine the overall pattern of phenetic affinity between temporally sequential series and in relation to the earliest series and, second, to explore the possible meanings of the pattern of relationship to sociohistorical change. The cranial series were designated early predynastic, late predynastic, terminal predynastic, and Dynasty I. Craniometric phenetic affinity was ascertained using Mahalanobis distances; a 5%level of probability was chosen for significance. The distance matrix values were ordered into hierarchies of dissimilarity from each series (distance hierarchies) and tabulated for time-successive groups, including the temporally earliest series (i.e., serialized by time). The principal observations were as follows. The overall pattern was not one in which the values between all series were statistically insignificant; nor was it one of consistent sequential increase of biological distance from the earliest series. There was a notable and statistically significant distance between the early and late predynastic groups, with the late and terminal predynastic groups mutually having the lowest and statistically insignificant distances with each other. The value between the terminal predynastic and Dynasty I series was generally larger than the values between other groups and was statistically significant. The overall pattern is possibly consistent with archeological interpretations that postulate increasing intraregional interactions during the late and terminal predynastic periods and the rise of an Egyptian state that eventually included northern Egypt.
Keita, S. O. Y. and Boyce, A. J.
"Temporal Variation in Phenetic Affinity of Early Upper Egyptian
Male Cranial Series,"
2, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol80/iss2/3