A Dental Metric Study of Medieval, Post Medieval, and Modern Basque Populations from Northern Spain

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Diana Malarchik
Marin A. Pilloud https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1704-3707
G. Richard Scott

Abstract

Basque population history has been examined through classic genetic markers, mtDNA, Y chromosome haplogroups, craniometrics, and recently dental morphology. Dental morphological data show Basques have a classic European dental pattern but fall as an outlier among European populations. Expanding on that work, Basque tooth size was examined to further evaluate the affinities of the Basque population. Mesiodistal and buccolingual maximum crown measurements were taken from medieval and post medieval skeletons from the Catedral de Santa María in Vitoria, Spain, along with living samples of modern Basques, Spanish, and Spanish Basques from dental students at the Universidad del País Vasco. A dental metric examination affirms the outlier status of Basques, as they exhibit smaller crown areas than neighboring populations. In biodistance analyses Basque populations group with linguistically and geographically distant populations. Even with gene flow from Spain, France, and North Africa, Basque individuals still demonstrate a unique pattern coincident with their ancient origins.

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