Dental anthropological study of the proto-Celts, and continental and non-continental Celtic tribes during the Iron Age, particularly its applicability in estimating biological affinities of these tribes, has been generally overlooked. The present study helps fill the gap in the current understanding of these groups in several ways. First, 36 morphological traits in 125 dentitions from four regional samples, representing the proto-Celts, the continental and non-continental Celts, along with a comparative European Iron Age sample, were recorded and analyzed. Frequencies of occurrence for each dental and osseous nonmetric trait were recorded for each sample. Second, the suite of traits was then compared among samples using principal components analysis, (PCA), and the Mean Measure of Divergence (MMD) distance statistic. Multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis were subsequently employed on the triangular pairwise MMD distance matrix to graphically illustrate the relationships between samples. These biological distance estimates suggest the following: 1) dental phenetic heterogeneity is evident across samples, 2) the proto-Celtic sample does not show any evidence of population continuity with the continental Celtic sample, 3) there is a significant difference between continental and non-continental Celtic samples, and 4) there is a comparably significant difference among the Celtic, proto-Celtic and comparative samples. Simply put, the comparative results suggest that these groups represent biologically distinct populations. These findings were compared with published cultural, linguistic, genetic and bioarchaeological information to test for concordance between dental analysis and other lines of evidence. Several previous studies defined the Celts linguistically, using languages to link all the populations. The present study does not support these findings, and suggests there is more genetic diversity than previously assumed under this linguistic hypothesis. Thus, it appears that the transition from proto-Celtic to Celtic culture in these regions, and the subsequent spread of Celtic culture to Britain during the La Tène period, may have been primarily a cultural transition. The present study comprises the most comprehensive dental morphological analysis of the Celts to date, contributes to an improved understanding of Celtic tribal relationships and microevolution, and provides an initial impression of Celtic relationships to other European populations during the Iron Age.
Thesis (M.A.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2016
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction -- Chapter 2: Historical and archaeological background -- Archaeological culture and ethnicity -- Hallstatt Archaeological background, location, and spread -- Why Hallstatt D is believed to be proto-Celtic -- La Tène Archaeological background, location, and spread -- Why La Tène culture is believed to represent fully a Celtic material culture -- Evidence of cultural continuity from Hallstatt D to La Tène (A) -- Chapter 3: Continental and non-continental Celts -- Archaeological evidence for the presence of the non-continental Celts -- Linguistic evidence for the presence of the continental and non-continental Celts -- Genetic evidence for the presence of biologically distinct continental and non-continental Celtic populations -- Summary -- Chapter 4: Methodological background -- Dental anthropology -- Microevolutionary dental analysis -- Disadvantages of using teeth as a research tool -- Advantages of using teeth as a research tool -- Chapter 5: Materials and methods -- British Isles Cemeteries -- Rudston Makeshift Cemetery -- Garton Station -- Burton Fleming -- Wetwang Slack -- Kirkburn -- Continental Celtic sample: Munsingen-Rain -- Continental proto-Celtic sample: Hallstatt -- Comparative sample: Pontecagnano -- Methods: data collection -- Quantitative analysis -- Principal components analysis (PCA) -- Mean measure of divergence (MMD) -- Multidimensional scaling -- Chapter 6: Results -- Principal components analysis -- Mean measure of divergence -- Multidimensional scaling -- Hierarchal cluster analysis -- Chapter 7: Discussion, conclusions and future research -- Discussion -- Was population movement from continental Celtic populations (i.e., from Munsingen-Rain) outside Gaul responsible for the diachronic changes in material culture in Yorkshire during the Iron Age? -- Is there evidence for population continuity or discontinuity between the Hallstatt D (i.e., Hallstatt D) and La Tène (i.e., Munsingen-Rain) samples? -- Is there sufficient evidence to suggest that the inhabitants of Yorkshire during the Iron Age were Celtic or is it a nominal association based on cultural diffusion? -- Is there a specific dental complex that can be identified among the Celtic populations that serves to unite the continental and non-continental Celts? -- Does the continental Celtic Munsingen-Rain population represent a biologically distinct population? -- Summary and conclusions -- Future work -- References -- Appendix.
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