Mr Joseph Owen
(email at email@example.com)
Morphometric Variations in Ancient and Modern Sus scrofa.
Traditional morphometrics have been used extensively to investigate the spread and adoption of the Neolithic revolution throughout Europe, based on the morphological distinctions between wild and domestic animals and their interaction with humans. However, the use of Morphometry as a tool for recognizing domestication has rarely been far from controversy, with morphological variation caused by sex, phylogeography, age (ontogeny), and size (allometry) all clouding the distinctions between wild and domestic morphotypes. In recent years there have been calls for studies to better quantify variables between wild and domestic species. This study uses 3D geometric morphometrics to investigate shape change associated with domestication in Sus scrofa skulls. Sixty-nine unilateral homologous landmarks have been digitised from the mandible and cranium of wild and domesticated Sus scrofa, and analysed using geometric morphometrics techniques and traditional multivariate statistics. The aim of this project is to create a modern comparative baseline of wild versus domestic morphotypes, against which other genetic and epigenetic causes of intraspecific variation can be compared. It will also allow inferences to be drawn about the causes of morphological variation in Sus in the archaeological record. It builds on, and is part of, a larger NERC project investigating the spread of the Neolithic and its subsequent integration with indigenous European populations through the utilisation of aDNA and geometric morphometrics (Larson et al 2007).
This research is funded by NERC and The Leverhume trust.