Original paper

The relationship of cranial, orbital and nasal cavity size with the morphology of the supraorbital region in modern Homo sapiens

Nowaczewska, Wioletta; Łapicka, Urszula; Cieślik, Agata; Biecek, Przemysław

Anthropologischer Anzeiger Volume 74 No. 3 (2017), p. 247 - 262

published: Sep 1, 2017
published online: Aug 1, 2017
manuscript accepted: May 29, 2017
manuscript revision received: May 27, 2017
manuscript revision requested: Mar 8, 2017
manuscript received: Dec 4, 2016

DOI: 10.1127/anthranz/2017/0729

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ArtNo. ESP140007403009, Price: 29.00 €

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Abstract

Abstract Morphological variation of the supraorbital region (SR) in human crania has been investigated and its potential sources suggested, along with the importance of the size of the facial skeleton, neurocranium, and orbit for the formation of this region. However, previous studies have not indicated whether facial size exhibits a stronger association with SR robusticity than neurocranial size or sex; moreover, the association between orbital volume and SR robusticity has been analysed only in non-human primate skulls. In this study we investigate whether the size of the facial skeleton, neurocranium, two measures of relative orbital size (orbital volume and estimated orbital aperture area), the relative size of the nasal cavity, and the relative estimated area of the anterior nasal cavity opening are related to SR robusticity; we also examine which of these analysed relationships is strongest, as well as independent of the influence of the other traits, in a geographically diverse modern human cranial sample. The results of Spearman’s rank and partial rank correlations (encompassing models including or excluding sex and geographic origin) show a relationship between most of the above-mentioned variables and SR robusticity, with the exception of the estimated relative area of the orbital opening (in the case of the results of Spearman’s rank correlations) and the traits of the nasal cavity. Of all the analysed traits, sex appears to be the most important for the formation of SR robusticity and, of two measures of cranial size, neurocranial size was the most significant. The strong relationship between SR robusticity and relative orbital volume was observed in models without the geographic origin factor. The results concerning analysed models suggest the influence of this factor on this relationship; however, to explain this influence, further studies are needed.

Keywords

robusticity glabellasuperciliary archcranial size measuresorbital volumegeographic origin