The original peopling of the Americas has puzzled researchers for decades. While some evidence points to a single wave of migration, still other data suggests two or more waves. Their reasonable estimated arrival dates range from 14,500 to over 20,000 BP, although some scholars push back their arrival even farther. Drawing from archaeology, genetics, historical linguistics, and physical anthropology, the peopling of the Americas debate encompasses research from a wide range of experts. In this study, craniometric data is examined through the means of the cranial index, defined as the ratio calculated by multiplying the maximum width (XCB) of the head by 100, then dividing by the maximum length of the head (GOL). Cranial indices are known to vary between different regions of the world, suggesting that different ratios represent different geographic affinities of peoples. I examine cranial indices from 112 individuals dating from the Terminal Pleistocene to the Early Holocene found throughout the Americas. These indices are then compared to the 2,524 indices from 30 populations examined in the Howells Craniometric Data Set using basic statistical functions. Results of these tests suggest morphological affinities between certain ancient and modern groups, offering insight into possible links between the two populations.


Kardulias, Nick




Archaeological Anthropology | Biological and Physical Anthropology | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Paleoindians, skeletal remains, physical anthropology, peopling of the Americas, cranial index, population distances

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2017 Hannah E. Matulek