Discrete and metric dental traits are used to assess biological similarities and differences among 13 bioarchaeological populations located on each side of the Apennine mountains in central-southern Italy and dated to the first millennium BC. An initial hypothesis, that the mountain chain might provide a significant geographical barrier for population movement (resulting in greater biological affinities among those groups on the same side), is not supported. Instead, the samples appear to cluster more on the basis of time than geography. Archaeological evidence, however, supports an association between populations on opposite sides of the mountains and thus is in accord with the dental data. As anticipated, discrete dental traits appear to be more useful than metric dental traits in assessing such population affinities. This research represents a beginning to a better comprehension of the complexity of the biological and cultural dynamics of Italian populations during recent millennia.
Dental anthropology of central-southern, Iron Age Italy: The evidence of metric versus nonmetric traits / Coppa, Alfredo; Andrea, Cucina; Domenico, Mancinelli; Rita, Vargiu; James M., Calcagno. - In: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY. - ISSN 0002-9483. - STAMPA. - 107:4(1998), pp. 371-386. [10.1002/(sici)1096-8644(199812)107:4<371::aid-ajpa1>3.0.co;2-9]