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Document Type

Article

Open Access Pre-Print

https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol_preprints/138/

Abstract

In this study, we investigated, for the first time from a forensic anthropological perspective, the question of mixed ancestry estimation for modern Filipinos with geographic origins in the Philippines. We derived estimates of continental ancestry using craniometrics from four sources: a new documented collection of current forensic significance from the Manila North Cemetery; the Howells cranial series representing a sample of unclaimed individuals from Manila but said largely to originate from more remote areas, with dates of death before 1940; the Hanihara sample aggregated from various locations and time periods across the Philippines; and the Hanihara series capturing various local indigenous, ethnic groups that are together identified as Philippine Negrito. Parental craniometrics were selected from the Howells data set and more recently collected samples from Europe and Asia. Using unsupervised clustering, we investigated the algorithmically defined three-cluster, or trihybrid admixture, model to infer continental ancestry for each individual, reporting their relative proportions of Asian, European, and African admixture. We used similar clustering procedures to identify more complex models, with a larger number of clusters, to explore patterns of affinity between our four Philippine samples and the recently acquired samples from Vietnam, Thailand, China (Hong Kong), Japan, and Korea. These analyses give insight into the relationships between both macro- and microgeographic regions, revealing at the country level how different population dynamics—whether political, economic, historical, and/or social—structure the ancestral makeup of Asian peoples, especially in the degree of European and African admixture. From these ancestry estimates, we found that population of origin explains 38–51% of the variation in each ancestry component, and we detected significant differences among the Asian samples in their quantities of ancestry. Filipinos appear considerably admixed, as they carry almost 20% less Asian ancestry than the average quantity (90%) estimated for the other Asian groups. We also revealed substructure within our representation of modern Filipinos, such that differences in the patterns of three-way admixture exist between each of the four Philippine samples; the Manila cemetery sample had the highest level of Asian ancestry, and, as we might expect, the Negrito sample had the greatest quantity of African ancestry. We performed additional analyses that introduced craniometrics from the Howells Australo-Melanesian series, to more fully investigate their relationship to the Asian samples and to better understand the African contributions common to the Philippine Negritos especially, as well as the other Southeast Asians and the Spanish and Portuguese groups. By mapping the cluster patterns on a global scale, these analyses reveal that, with craniometrics just as with genetic loci, patterns of affinity are informative of the complex history of Southeast Asia, as they suggest vestiges of migration, trade, and colonialism, as well as more recent periods of isolation, marginalization, and occupation.

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