Population level comparisons in central Mexico using cranial nonmetric traits

Abigail Meza-Peñaloza, Federico Zertuche, Christopher Morehart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: We study the genetic diversity between Classic Teotihuacan and its neighboring towns trying to understand how far or close they are at the genetic level. Materials and methods: We use cranial nonmetric traits to study a sample of 280 adult skulls from archaeological sites running from the late Preclassic to the early Postclassic. Samples of Classic Teotihuacan were studied for La Ventilla and San Sebastián Xolalpan neighbors. For the Epiclassic period, samples from Xaltocan, Toluca valley, Mogotes and Xico were used. For the Preclassic and Postclassic samples from Xico were also used. We used a parametric bootstrap for the mean measure of divergence for the statistical analysis. Results: Samples from Xico have small biodistance from Preclassic to Postclassic. Samples from Los Mogotes differ depending on the functional context of deposition, with individuals from household burials (funerary) differing from non-funerary, ceremonial interments and exhibiting affinities to Epiclassic samples from Toluca valley. Epiclassic populations from Xaltocan vary significantly from any samples analyzed. Samples from Classic period Teotihuacan vary considerably among them but form a separate genetic group from all the other populations under study. Conclusions: The great biodistance separation among Classic Teotihuacan and its neighbor villages of central Mexico let us conclude that, contrary from the classical idea that those villages were confirmed by the inhabitants of Teotihuacan's collapse: They indeed remain as separate populations by themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Mesoamerica
  • human migration
  • mean measure of divergence
  • nonmetric traits
  • parametric bootstrap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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