Research Project

Assessing Ancestry From Human Skeletal Remains

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Andrea Palmiotto

What is your research?

I am creating an in depth analysis of the different ways of assessing ancestry from human skeletal remains. Over the years, there have been a large variety of ways that have been identified, however these methods have never all been identified in one source. The types of methods that are included in my research include methods that look at the cranial traits, as well as post cranial traits. In addition to this, I also examine methods that use both qualitative and quantitative methods as there are a variety of ways that have been shown to work in correctly identifying ancestry. All methods identified in this review are either heavily researched, backed by individuals in the field, or both.

Why is it important?

I am doing this research to help me this fall semester when I am conducting my thesis research. For that project I will be analyzing two sets of human remains to help determine their age, ancestry, stature, and sex. It is very important that I am able to appropriately identify these remains, as it can impact where the remains are interred. From my research in the past, I realized that identifying ancestry can be the hardest thing to do. This is why I spent more time identifying appropriate ways to identify ancestry this summer. From this research I will be able to create a better analysis and hopefully be able to appropriately identify the remains' ancestry.

Nikki Wilcox Nikki Wilcox's Research