American Journal of Physical Anthropology (AM J PHYS ANTHROPOL )

Publisher: American Association of Physical Anthropologists; Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology; American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Meeting, John Wiley and Sons


The American Journal of Physical Anthropology is designed for the prompt publication of original and significant articles of human evolution and variation including primate morphology physiology genetics adaptation growth development and behavior present and past. It also publishes book reviews technical reports brief communications and the abstracts and proceedings of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

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    American Journal of Physical Anthropology website
  • Other titles
    Proceedings of the ... annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists., American journal of physical anthropology, Physical anthropology
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  • Material type
    Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

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John Wiley and Sons

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    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
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    • Non-commercial
    • Pre-print must be accompanied with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
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    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'John Wiley and Sons' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although south-Slavic populations have been studied to date from various aspects, the population of Serbia, occupying the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, is still genetically understudied at least at the level of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation. We analyzed polymorphisms of the first and the second mtDNA hypervariable segments (HVS-I and HVS-II) and informative coding-region markers in 139 Serbians to shed more light on their mtDNA variability, and used available data on other Slavic and neighboring non-Slavic populations to assess their interrelations in a broader European context. The contemporary Serbian mtDNA profile is consistent with the general European maternal landscape having a substantial proportion of shared haplotypes with eastern, central, and southern European populations. Serbian population was characterized as an important link between easternmost and westernmost south-Slavic populations due to the observed lack of genetic differentiation with all other south-Slavic populations and its geographical positioning within the Balkan Peninsula. An increased heterogeneity of south Slavs, most likely mirroring turbulent demographic events within the Balkan Peninsula over time (i.e., frequent admixture and differential introgression of various gene pools), and a marked geographical stratification of Slavs to south-, east-, and west- Slavic groups, were also found. A phylogeographic analyses of 20 completely sequenced Serbian mitochondrial genomes revealed not only the presence of mtDNA lineages predominantly found within the Slavic gene pool (U4a2a*, U4a2a1, U4a2c, U4a2g, HV10), supporting a common Slavic origin, but also lineages that may have originated within the southern Europe (H5*, H5e1, H5a1v) and the Balkan Peninsula in particular (H6a2b and L2a1k).
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Analyses of entheseal changes (EC) in identified skeletal samples employ a common research strategy based on the comparison between occupations grouped on the basis of shared biomechanical and/or social characteristics. Results from this approach are often ambiguous, with some studies that point to differences in EC between occupational samples and others failing to provide evidence of behavioral effects on EC. Here we investigate patterns of EC among documented occupations by means of a multivariate analysis of robusticity scores in nine postcranial entheses from a large (N = 372) contemporary skeletal sample including specimens from one Italian and two Portuguese identified collections. Data on entheseal robusticity, analyzed by pooled sides as well by separated sides and levels of asymmetry, are converted in binary scores and then analyzed through nonlinear principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis. Results of these analyses are then used for the classification of occupations. Differences between occupational classes are tested by MANOVA and pairwise Hotelling's test. Results evidence three classes which separate occupations related to farming, physically demanding but generalized occupation, and physically undemanding occupations, with the more consistent differences between the first and the last classes. Our results are consistent with differences in biomechanical behavior between the occupations included in each class, and point to the physical and social specificity of farming activities. On the other hand, our study exemplifies the usefulness of alternative analytical protocols for the investigation of EC, and the value of research designs devoid of a priori assumptions for the test of biocultural hypotheses.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The sternal end of the clavicle has been illustrated to be useful in aging young adults, however, no studies have investigated what age-related changes occur to the sternal end post epiphyseal fusion. In this study, three morphological features (i.e., surface topography, porosity, and osteophyte formation) were examined and scored using 564 clavicles of individuals of European ancestry (n = 318 males; n = 246 females), with known ages of 40+ years, from four documented skeletal collections: Hamann-Todd, Pretoria, St. Bride's, and Coimbra. An ordinal scoring method was developed for each of the three traits. Surface topography showed the strongest correlation with age, and composite scores (formed by summing the three separate trait scores) indicated progressive degeneration of the surface with increasing chronological age. Linear regression analyses were performed on the trait scores to produce pooled-sample age estimation equations. Blind tests of the composite score method and regression formulae on 56 individuals, aged 40+ years, from Christ Church Spitalfields, suggest accuracies of 96.4% for both methods. These preliminary results display the first evidence of the utility of the sternal end of the clavicle in aging older adult individuals. However, in the current format, these criteria should only be applied to individuals already identified as over 40 years in order to refine the age ranges used for advanced age. These findings do suggest the sternal end of the clavicle has potential to aid age estimates beyond the traditional “mature adult” age category (i.e., 46+ years), and provides several suggestions for future research.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 10/2014; Early View.
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    ABSTRACT: The present report follows up on the findings of previous research, including recent bioarchaeological study of well‐dated Khoesan skeletal remains, that posits long term biological continuity among the indigenous peoples of South Africa after the Pleistocene. The Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System was used to record key crown, root, and intraoral osseous nonmetric traits in six early‐through‐late Holocene samples from the Cape coasts. Based on these data, phenetic affinities and an identification of traits most important in driving intersample variation were determined using principal components analysis and the mean measure of divergence distance statistic. To expand biological affinity comparisons into more recent times, and thus preliminarily assess the dental impact of disproportionate non‐Khoesan gene flow into local peoples, dental data from historic Khoekhoe and San were also included. Results from the prehistoric comparisons are supportive of population continuity, though a sample from Matjes River Rockshelter exhibits slight phenetic distance from other early samples. This and some insignificant regional divergence among these coastal samples may be related to environmental and cultural factors that drove low‐level reproductive isolation. Finally, a close affinity of historic San to all samples, and a significant difference of Khoekhoe from most early samples is reflective of documented population history following immigration of Bantu‐speakers and, later, Europeans into South Africa. Am J Phys Anthropol 155:33–44, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 09/2014; 155(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Enamel thickness has played an important role in studies of primate taxonomy, phylogeny, and functional morphology, although its variation among hominins is poorly understood. Macaques parallel hominins in their widespread geographic distribution, relative range of body sizes, and radiation during the last five million years. To explore enamel thickness variation, we quantified average and relative enamel thickness (AET and RET) in Macaca arctoides, Macaca fascicularis, Macaca fuscata, Macaca mulatta, Macaca nemestrina, and Macaca sylvanus. Enamel area, dentine area, and enamel-dentine junction length were measured from mesial sections of 386 molars scanned with micro-computed tomography, yielding AET and RET indices. Intraspecific sex differences were not found in AET or RET. Macaca fuscata had the highest AET and RET, M. fascicularis showed the lowest AET, and M. arctoides had the lowest RET. The latitudinal distribution of macaque species was associated with AET for these six species. Temperate macaques had thicker molar enamel than did tropical macaques, suggesting that thick enamel may be adaptive in seasonal environments. Additional research is needed to determine if thick enamel in temperate macaques is a response to intensified hard-object feeding, increased abrasion, and/or a broader diet with a greater range of food material properties. The extreme ecological flexibility of macaques may prohibit identification of consistent trends between specific diets and enamel thickness conditions. Such complications of interpretation of ecological variability, dietary diversity, and enamel thickness may similarly apply for fossil Homo species.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 08/2014; 155(3):447-459.
  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The famous La Tène burial site of Münsingen Rain in Switzerland was discovered in 1904. The individuals were dated by horizontal stratigraphy to 420 - 240 BC. One of the 77 individuals showed an alteration of the bone, so the skull, the left humerus with scapula and the right femur were retained. The aim of this study was to reconsider a differential diagnosis and examine it with different methods. Sex and age were determined anthropologically. Radiological examinations were performed with plain x-ray imaging and a multislice CT-scanner. For histological analysis, a fragment of the lesion was taken from the back side of the humerus. Pathologic processing with staining after fixation, decalcification, and paraffin embedding was performed. Hard cut sections were also prepared. The individual is male, the estimated age at death is more than 60 years. There is a malignant bone forming tumour at the left proximal humerus with extraosseus growth and involvement of the adjacent scapula. Radiologic examination showed a large, mainly sclerotic tumour. The 'sunburst' appearance of the periphery is a sign for an aggressive malign periosteal reaction. Histology showed an irregular bone formation consistent with osteoid matrix. In summary, there are two major differential diagnoses: if the tumour represented a single lesion, it can be considered as a primary malignant bone tumour. Due to the irregular matrix formation resembling osteoid, the most likely diagnosis is an osteoblastic osteosarcoma, followed by chondrosarcoma with osteoblastic features.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology; 04/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract This article demonstrates the use of mixed effects models for characterizing individual and sample average growth curves based on serial anthropometric data. These models are advancement over conventional general linear regression because they effectively handle the hierarchical nature of serial growth data. Using body weight data on 70 infants in the Born in Bradford study, we demonstrate how a mixed effects model provides a better fit than a conventional regression model. Further, we demonstrate how mixed effects models can be used to explore the influence of environmental factors on the sample average growth curve. Analyzing data from 183 infant boys (aged 3-15 months) from rural South India, we show how maternal education shapes infant growth patterns as early as within the first 6 months of life. The presented analyses highlight the utility of mixed effects models for analyzing serial growth data because they allow researchers to simultaneously predict individual curves, estimate sample average curves, and investigate the effects of environmental exposure variables. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2013; 150(1):58-67.
  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology 01/2013; 152(4).