Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Assessing ancestry from skeletal remains provides important information to aid in personal identification. However, trying to specify ancestry for Native American and Asian populations in the United States is a current challenge in laboratory analyses. Both Native American and Asian populations are still often combined in research for a variety of reasons: small sample sizes, skeletal similarities and less emphasis in contemporary literature. Historically, Carlton Coon, in 1939, and Riesenfield, in 1956, refer to this combination of both Native American and Asian populations as “Mongoloid,” a term which is deemed by many as an offensive and inaccurate categorization of both populations by modern standards. The intent of this research is to analyze non-metric features of Native American and Asian crania to determine which traits, if any, may be used to differentiate between those two populations. Data analysis using frequency tables, chi-square and logistic regression methods show that some traits are statistically significant and are, therefore, linked to one population. By using these traits to help differentiate between Native American and Asian crania, ancestry may be identified more easily in forensic casework.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Listi, Ginesse